That was how it played out at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Sunday.
The midfielder provided the finish to a fine move in the 82nd minute to secure our first victory of the Premier League campaign.
Erik Lamela threaded the key pass through and Ryan met it just ahead of the advancing Costel Pantilimon. Ryan was caught by the Sunderland goalkeeper in the process of scoring and departed on a stretcher a few minutes later. Mauricio Pochettino later told us that he will be assessed on Monday.
“Yes, of course I’d take a whack, as long as I’m back for the next game!” said Ryan. “Scoring a goal is the best feeling in the world.
“It was a massive win for us. We’d gone four games without a win so we didn’t really care how it came along as we got the three points.
“It was like a basketball match at times, end to end and so open. The first goal was always going to be key and thankfully we scored it and held on this time.
“As I said, the most important thing is the win and we’ve now got four home matches coming up so it’s all positive.”
Ryan has stated his desire to score more goals this season after registering twice last term. “It felt good to score,” he said. “I felt fit, I was timing my runs and looking to get forward.
Below: Pass-by-pass graphic of Ryan's goal
“The move for the goal was good and Coco played a perfect pass for me to finish it off.
“I haven’t shied away from wanting to score goals but perhaps at the same time I’ve been a bit naïve because I can’t forget that I’m a defensive central midfielder now and it’s difficult to make the box as regularly as I’d like to, but it was nice to do it against Sunderland and help us get the three points.”