The script to Ryan Mason’s fairytale start as Tottenham manager took a sour turn, punctuated by the gaffer’s inexperienced decision to introduce Moussa Sissoko.
While a rash of errors led to Manchester City’s winner, Sissoko was most culpable for his lacklustre attempt to mark Laporte on the 82nd minute corner. Brought on to inject power and guile in the heart of midfield, Sissoko failed to fulfil one of his core strengths, man marking an opposing big man from a dead ball situation.
Sissoko should have never been introduced in the first place. One of Tottenham’s most disappointing players of the season, The Frenchman has endured a number of comically poor displays, a few of which occurring in the Europa League.
And worst of all, he made his young, inexperienced manager look particularly bad. Mason put his faith in Sissoko, who repaid him by handing City the trophy.
It was a hard lesson for Mason to learn, especially considering the consequence of the decision, one he won’t soon forget.