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Lucas Moura’s moment of magic gets Antonio Conte’s Spurs looking up again

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Norwich City 0


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Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura in action. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura in action. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura in action. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

As they headed home in the Sunday afternoon drizzle, Tottenham’s supporters could reflect on the type of largely worry-free day so often lacking under recent managers.

When Jose Mourinho was at the helm, the players frequently looked forced into doing things they did not want to do; during Nuno Espirito Santo’s short reign, there appeared to be no plan to follow.

Now, after three successive Premier League wins under Antonio Conte, the Tottenham fans can start to believe they have their club back. It was no wonder the new manager’s name echoed around the ground at the final whistle.

Sure, their opponents here were a Norwich side sat bottom of the table, but no task had seemed too easy to avoid a stumble over for much of the past year.

Prior to their victory over Brentford in midweek, Spurs had not won a league game by more than a single goal all season.

Thanks to an early Lucas Moura (above) thunderbolt, second-half goals from Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-min, and some typically wayward Norwich finishing, any sense of a trip-up faded into the afternoon gloom.

Suddenly, a place in the top four is just a win away, although Conte has no intention of basking in the fans’ adoration.

“I want to say thanks to all the fans that sang my name,” he said. “I’m very happy and enthusiastic for this. On the other hand, I feel a lot of responsibility. Maybe it’s too much, too early. I want to show that in the future I deserve this.”

It was Moura who delivered the standout moment. Much has changed since he became a club hero by propelling Tottenham to the 2019 Champions League final. Then, Thursday night Europa Conference League trips to Slovenian towns under a third post-Mauricio Pochettino manager seemed a world away.

Yet while seemingly destined to frustrate and amaze Spurs supporters in equal measure every week, Moura’s capacity to produce moments of wonder endures.

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Less than 10 minutes were on the clock when he produced a goal-of-the-season contender that featured four individual strokes of majesty. The Brazilian spun round Billy Gilmour with a wonderful piece of skill, played a neat one-two with Son to render a couple of Norwich defenders stationary, shifted his body weight to cut the ball from left to right, and then smashed past a helpless Tim Krul from 25 yards.

They doubled their lead on 67 minutes. Ben Davies flicked Son’s corner straight into Ben Gibson’s midriff, and the ball fell kindly for Sanchez to lash home from a couple of yards.

Ten minutes later it was 3-0. Davies played a one-two with Oliver Skipp, passed to Son inside the Norwich box and the South Korean drove across Krul into the far corner.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]


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