December 13 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Tottenham all but sealed their passage to the Europa League group stages after hammering Dinamo Tbilisi 5-0 away in Georgia in the first leg of the play-off round.
Andros Townsend stole the show in the first half, running from inside his first half to open the scoring with a superb solo goal - and the 22-year-old winger then set up the second goal for Paulinho, who netted his first goal for the Lilywhites.
Spurs went on to score three times in nine minutes after the break, with Townsend creating another goal for Soldado – and Danny Rose made it 4-0 with a sublime 25-yard strike before Soldado doubled his tally.
Etienne Capoue was given his first start for his new club, while Younes Kaboul, Kyle Naughton and Townsend also came into the starting XI following Sunday’s 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace.
Tbilisi had the first chance as Elguja Grigalashvili advanced into the box and unleashed a shot which Kaboul deflected over the crossbar.
However, Spurs went straight up the other end from the ensuing corner and took a 12th-minute lead through Townsend, who raced from inside his own half and cut onto his left foot before sending a low 20-yard effort into the bottom right corner.
The livewire winger then delivered a low cross that was blocked, but Soldado reacted inside the box and hit the target from a tight angle, forcing a save from Giorgi Loria.
Townsend was soon threatening again, winning a free-kick on the edge of the box, and Gylfi Sigurdsson just missed the top corner, stroking the side netting with his effort.
Tbilisi nearly hit back as Jaba Dvali met a left-wing cross with an excellent low, glancing header, but Hugo Lloris reacted to make a flying save.
Instead, Spurs doubled their lead just before half-time as Naughton played the ball over the top for Townsend, who bedazzled his marker before scooping a sumptuous cross into the path of Paulinho, and the unmarked Brazilian headed home from six yards.
The start of the second half was uneventful, but Townsend produced another moment of magic in the 58th minute, gathering Naughton’s ball and bursting outside his full-back before pulling the ball back for Soldado to finish.
It was 4-0 soon after, and it was another young Englishman who found the net as left-back Danny Rose whipped a stunning effort into the far top corner from just outside the box.
Moments later, substitute Nacer Chadli delivered an inviting left-footed cross from the left flank and Soldado arrived to finish at close range.
Villas-Boas took the opportunity to withdraw Paulinho and Soldado with Sunday’s home game against Swansea in mind, while England Under-21 internationals Tom Carroll and Harry Kane got a chance to impress.
Tbilisi nearly besmirched Tottenham’s clean sheet as Dvali got a shot off inside the box, but it was straight at Lloris, who saved with his legs – and Spurs’ keeper then made another fine low save to deny Grigalashvili.
Despite that effort from the hosts, they were very nearly 6-0 down moments later as Chadli crossed for Kane, whose header back across goal came back off the post.
Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose, Capoue, Paulinho (Carroll 71) Dembele, Townsend, Sigurdsson (Chadli 61), Soldado (Kane 71).
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