Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham overcame Norwegian minnows Tromso 3-0 in their opening Group K game in the Europa League.
As expected, Tottenham took control of the tie from the opening minutes, dictating the pace of the match and seemingly opening up their opponents at will.
Defoe should have scored after quarter of an hour but soon made up for it as he expertly chipped Tromso keeper Marcus Sahlman following Erik Lamela’s incisive pass.
The England international grabbed his second just nine minutes later – sliding the ball past the onrushing Sahlman – as Spurs effectively wrapped up the tie.
The tempo dropped considerably during the second half with Spurs seemingly content to keep hold of their two-goal advantage.
Summer signing Christian Eriksen came off the bench late on to score the goal of the game and give the Spurs fans something to cheer about in what was a drab second period.
PRE-MATCH: AVB isn’t taking this one for granted as he fields a strong side. Erik Lamela makes his first start for Tottenham with Jermain Defoe preferred to Roberto Soldado in attack.
16’ - FIRST CHANCE OF THE NIGHT: Holtby plays Defoe in with a clever reverse pass down the right. The angle is against Defoe as the Sahlman makes the save but the England striker will be disappointed not to have done better.
20’ - DECENT EFFORT BY SIGURDSSON: Sandro, on the edge of the penalty area, finds the Icelandic midfielder but he can’t quite get the ball from under his feet and his subsequent shot fails to trouble the Tromso keeper.
21’ - GOAL: Defoe scores. It’s a great finish from the striker. Holtby finds the feet of Lamela who slides in Defoe. The keeper races off his line to thwart Defoe but the England man clips the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
30’ - GOAL! DEFORE SCORES AGAIN: The striker bursts into a gap behind the Tromso defence and is found expertly by Holtby. Again, Sahlman comes rushing off his line but can do nothing as Defoe slides the ball beyond him.
43’ - First chance of the night for Tromso: It’s Fulham’s on-loan midfielder. Pritchard finds some space down the left, his first touch taking him towards goal, but the youngster rushes his shot and fires wide.
86' - GOAL!! AND WHAT A GOAL THAT IS: Eriksen scores his first goal for Tottenham. The Danish midfielder receives the ball on the edge of the penalty area and tip-toes past a challenge before finding the far corner with a wicked curling effort.
Spurs have only conceded one goal this season and it came in their defeat against Arsenal, with Olivier Giroud scoring the winner in the North London derby.
Tottenham have only once lost their first home game of a group stage, 2-1 to Getafe CF in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.
A Norwegian club has yet to win a game on English soil in UEFA competition in 18 attempts; two draws and 16 defeats.
Christian Eriksen scored his first goal for Tottenham following his summer move from Ajax.
TALKING POINT: Should Jermain Defoe be starting? The England striker hasn’t had much of a look-in under Villas-Boas but whenever he plays, he scores. Two first-half goals will surely give AVB something to think about.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham): Although he had a relatively quiet second half, Defoe was the difference between the two sides. His constant movement caused the visitors trouble throughout the match and two smart finishes saw his side claim three points.
Tottenham: Lloris 6, Naughton 6, Dawson 6, Kaboul 6, Rose 7, Dembele 6, Sandro 7, Lamela 6, Holtby 7, Sigurdsson 6, Defoe 8. Subs: Vertonghen 6, Eriksen 7, Paulinho 6.
Tromso: Sahlman 6, Causevic 6, Koppinen 5, Fojut 6, Kristiansen 5, Johansen 5, Bendiksen 5, Moldskred 6, Pritchard 5, Drage 6, Ondrasek 5. Subs: Antonsen 5, Andersen 5, L. Johnsen 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
#THFC 3-0 #Tromso: Defoe continues to ruthlessly shoot fish in barrel marked ‘rubbish Europa League teams’; Eriksen scores stunner.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jermain Defoe
- Erik Lamela
- Christian Eriksen
- Marcus Sahlman