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Sun 29 August 2021, 17:30|Tottenham Hotspur

Nuno Espirito Santo turned the spotlight on the players after Heung-Min Son’s strike sunk Watford and took us to the top of the Premier League on Sunday.

Sonny marked his 200th Premier League appearance with the only goal of the game on 42 minutes, a wicked in-swinging free-kick from the left that evaded everyone and flew into the far corner.

Victory meant Nuno created a little slice of Spurs history – the first manager to win his first three matches in the top flight, and the first to win his first three since legendary ‘push and run’ boss Arthur Rowe in the old Second Division in 1949. It’s also only the fourth time we’ve won our first three games at the start of a Premier League season (2009/10, 2016/17, 2017/18).

“I’m proud of the players because it’s them, honestly, it’s them, not only in the games, in the training sessions, they are the ones who deliver,” Nuno told us pitchside afterwards at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I’m trying only to help them, to show them the way that I think is better for us. I think we are on the way, not perfect yet, but becoming solid, compact, everyone working for each other. You can see... when we didn’t kill the game, the final minutes required different aspects and we managed that well, controlled it well defensively, put the ball in their half and didn’t allow the counter-attack. All this is a balance of small things. So, credit to them, they are amazing.”

I’m proud of the players because it’s them, honestly, it’s them, not only in the games, in the training sessions, they are the ones who deliver

Nuno Espirito Santo

Watford provided a tough, physical test, as expected, dropping players in deep and making it difficult to break their lines. Sonny found the breakthrough as we were growing into the game towards the end of the first half and we should really have won by further as Harry Kane, Dele and Eric Dier all went close in the second half. At the other end, we were defensively tight again as Watford created few chances of note, and Hugo Lloris didn’t really have a serious save to make.

“It feels good,” added Nuno. “I thought we played a good game, a consistent game. We didn’t allow too many things. We knew the threat of Watford, we managed it well, controlling the deep, but we should be better on second balls.

“On the offensive aspect of the game, it was very hard to find the spaces, the gaps. In the first half we didn’t have enough dynamic or mobility, but in the second half we improved much. We had clear chances to kill the game and transform the result. So, with all that, I’m very happy because the players worked very, very hard.”

Nuno on N17 Live