Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has praised the impact of forward Carlos Vinicius in the 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion. Spurs left it late to record the points at the Hawthorns, as Harry Kane’s deft header settled the difference between the two sides.
Vinicius started the game on the bench and was called into action just over 10 minutes from time for his Premier League debut.
Jose Mourinho Praises Impact of Carlos Vinicius off Bench
Carlos Vinicius a ‘Different Problem’
Spurs had to dig deep to earn three points against a resolute West Brom side looking for their first league win of the season.
But Kane’s 88th minute winner eventually sealed the points for the visitors. The win saw Mourinho’s side briefly top the Premier League for the first time since August 2014.
Up until that point, the match had been looking as if it was heading towards a stalemate. Vinicius was introduced by Mourinho on 79 minutes to edge proceedings, and the Portuguese was impressed with the striker’s cameo.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “It was one of those matches with all the ingredients to lose a couple of points – difficult opponents, they want to stop you, they analyse you, they see where you are strong, they try to close every possible door, and they did it.
“Even being difficult, it was not a game where it had lots of chances, but a game where you start pushing, pushing, pushing and you feel the possible is coming.
“Then the moment arrived where I felt it’s time to bring Vinicius. To change the structure a little, to give them a different problem than they had until then. With Vinicius, Harry became a little more free and he got that space to score the winning goal.”
Alternative Attacking Dimension
Vinicius is still adjusting to life in England following his loan move from Benfica, but has shown flashes of what he can do. He has already demonstrated his ability to link up well, producing two assists on his Europa League debut against LASK.
The Brazilian’s introduction for Moussa Sissoko meant Spurs had two recognised strikers on the field – a rare scenario over recent seasons. His stature immediately drew the attention of the West Brom defence, leaving Kane with more space to work with.
The substitution paid dividends, as Kane found a rare pocket of space in the Baggies box before flicking home the winner.
The Benfica loanee also nearly opened his Spurs account just minutes after coming on. His drilled effort from the edge of the box forced a fine save from West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
With plenty of tough fixtures upcoming in Spurs’ calendar, Vinicius could see himself registering more game time. No doubt Mourinho will be delighted to have another offensive option to fall back on, should a game need changing.