Tottenham Hotspur cruised to a 3-0 victory today in the FA Cup, in what had the potential to be a truly tough fixture.
Preston North End were enjoying a run of three wins in their last four games in all competitions but knew that welcoming the Lilywhites would be a difficult task despite their patchy form.
Antonio Conte opted for an interesting lineup in which no recognised central striker featured, and as such, the goalscoring burden fell once more onto Heung-min Son.
Would you give Tanganga a run in the team now?
The South Korean has struggled this campaign, and with just four goals in the Premier League, it marked a risky choice from the Italian to opt for him over the substitute Harry Kane.
However, he more than repaid that faith with a brilliant brace of the highest order.
Cutting in on his ‘weaker’ left foot, he unleashed two sumptuous strikes which found the opposite corners respectively to put the game beyond doubt. They craved his magic on a night where, despite boasting 69% of the ball, could only muster six shots on target.
Although he may earn the bulk of the plaudits for his offensive exploits, it cannot be understated just how solid Spurs were at the back too.
Much of that was down to the resurgent Japhet Tanganga, who Conte employed in a right centre-back role alongside Davinson Sanchez and Clement Lenglet.
Despite being a natural full-back, the 23-year-old enjoyed an accomplished performance which culminated in a 7.4 Sofascore rating; a number only bettered by Son out of anyone on the pitch.
The defender was instrumental in their build-up play, best showcased through his spectacular 103 touches and 88 passes attempted. What truly makes him stand out is that despite the quantity being so vast he still retained a 91% success rate, with one of those being a key pass too.
Journalist Kat Lucas put it best when she labelled Tanganga “very composed” in a post-match tweet.
However, he would pair this with a fine defensive work rate that really pulled his whole performance together. Making four clearances, he supplemented that with an additional two interceptions and one tackle (via Sofascore). He truly neutralised the attack of the hosts.
Son was admittedly superb tonight, and without him, their journey into the fifth round of the cup would have been far more arduous.
But the foundation for him to shine was built from the solidity and quality of Tanganga, which is why he deserves particular praise in maintaining their push for a trophy.