Matt Doherty Does it All for Tottenham Versus LASK

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Matt Doherty Tottenham Hotspur and LASK at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Matt Doherty Tottenham Hotspur and LASK at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /

Bale and Hojbjerg might have been the headlining names from the Tottenham summer transfer window, but it was Matt Doherty who stole the show against LASK.

In a summer where Gareth Bale and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were signed by Tottenham Hotspur, the signing of Matt Doherty from Wolves went a bit under the radar. Likewise, while Matt Doherty is likely not the first name you would think of when you were picking your man of the match against LASK for Tottenham, but maybe he should have been. In 90 minutes against LASK in Europa League Matt Doherty quietly dominated proceedings from the right full back position.

Doherty Top Tottenham Passing Target

Doherty dominated the possession amassing 104 touches on the night more than 20 more the Ben Davies, who had the second most touches on the evening for Tottenham. Those 104 touches translated into 61 completed passes on 75 attempts for an 81% accuracy rate.

Considering Doherty often has limited options from the right back position this is terrific accuracy. For comparison, Ben Davies – who had a nice game at center-half – completed 82% of his passes from the more central position. Everytime Doherty receives the ball one side of the field is unavailable to him, which means options can be limited for fullbacks.

Many of these passes Doherty connected were part of the expressway from the back to the front for Spurs going from Sanchez to Doherty up to Gareth Bale. Doherty completed 14 passes to Bale, 12 to Sanchez and a further 9 to Hojbjerg who provided a square outlet option to Bale’s forward and Sanchez’ backwards.

These touches and activity were not by accident as Doherty was the top target for three different Spurs on the evening. According to Tottenham’s official website Doherty received the ball a team high 18 times from Davinson Sanchez, while collecting 17 passes from Harry Winks and getting the ball back from Bale on 8 occasions. In other words, Doherty was a willing outlet for a lot of people and then work to move the ball from there, not being disposed once on the evening.

Doherty Does it All

As if passes and touchers were not enough, Doherty also led the team in tackles with four, and added in 3 crosses, 2 clearances, and 2 interceptions for good measure. If someone were playing Europa League fantasy football, Matt Doherty would have been a heck of a play on the night.

Oh, did I mention, he had the second best and possibly biggest save on the evening. It was late in the first half as Tottenham focus seemed to be drifting . For probably the only time in the entire match Joe Hart seemed to have missed judged the ball and it ended up at the back post with Gernot Trauner. Trauner controlled the ball and let loose a thunderous volley, which Doherty went sprawling toward.

As Matt went sliding over the ball blasted off Doherty and out for another corner. The defenders actions saved a certain goal and a game changing moment for LASK just before the half. While Joe Hart still had one more save to make before the whistle which everyone will remember, it was the body on the line block from Doherty that made that save possible and kept the shutout intact.

On a night where Gareth Bale started for the first time in over 7 years for Tottenham and debutant player Carlos Vinicius had two assists as Son and Moura both scored, it was the right back who stole the show. Based on the performance I do not think it will be the last time either.