December 11 2013 Latest news:
By Tom Moore, at White Hart Lane
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Europa League Group K: Tottenham 3 Tromso 0
Tottenham might have strolled past Norwegian minnows Tromso but they had to count the cost of the victory as both Danny Rose (foot) and Moussa Dembele (ankle) were forced off with injury.
Younes Kaboul also picked up a thigh injury and signalled that he wanted to come off despite Spurs using all three substitutions, giving manager Andre Villas-Boas an unwanted headache.
He might not have as thin a squad as last season but the head coach will be hoping that Rose will be fit for Sunday’s game with Cardiff, given the left back spot is one area where Tottenham don’t have much depth.
Jermain Defoe, who is yet to start in the Premier League this campaign, gave the Lilywhites the goals they needed to claim victory in their opening group game and made his point to Villas-Boas while Christian Eriksen scored a sublime long-range effort.
Spurs were always expected to have too much for the Scandanavian club and looked to establish an early lead.
In just the third minute Rose broke down the left before cutting inside and his effort was straight at Tromso goalkeeper Marcus Sahlman.
The stopper enjoyed a strong opening 20 minutes making two fine saves to prevent the Lilywhites from grabbing an opener.
First, after 15 minutes, he blocked Defoe’s shot with his feet after Lewis Holtby had played the striker in. Then Sahlman was quick to hold Gylfi Sigurdsson’s effort four minutes later, but he was beaten soon after as Tottenham took a 21st minute lead.
They broke down the right flank and Erik Lamela produced a wonderful lay-off for Defoe to latch on to with one of his trademark runs.
Having been denied with a low shot minutes earlier, the England international opted to go the aerial route and guided the ball home.
It should have been 2-0 four minutes later as Tromso failed to deal with a corner and Kaboul, unmarked, fired his shot wide.
But just before the half-hour mark Tottenham doubled their lead. Sigurdsson played the ball into Holtby and his slide-rule pass was perfect for another defence-splitting run from Defoe.
Having gone aerial with his previous effort, he kept the ball down and guided the ball across Sahlman and in.
The first blow to befall Spurs was when Rose collided with Morten Moldskred and was forced from the field of play with Jan Vertonghen replacing him on 38 minutes.
Tromso were always on the back foot and their only shot in the first half was a tame long-range effort from Josh Pritchard that drifted wide of Hugo Lloris’ goal.
The second half carried on like the first with Tottenham looking for a third.
The most skilful moment of the game came when Ruben Kristiansen avoided the central defence partnership of Kaboul and Michael Dawson but his pass to Fulham loanee Pritchard was cut out by Kyle Naughton.
The Englishman in Tromso’s ranks then had a chance to reduce the defecit but his effort from 25 yards went high over Lloris’ goal.
The visitors began to enjoy some time in Tottenham’s half as they regrouped after Dembele was withdrawn with a knock on his ankle after a challenge from Lars Gunnar Johnsen. Eriksen replaced the Belgian just after the hour mark.
Kaboul then started to complain about his thigh, indicating that he wanted to go off, despite Spurs having used all their substitutions once Paulinho replaced the inconsistent Holtby.
The game was fizzling out when Eriksen fired home a long-range curling strike to make it 3-0 and ensure Spurs enjoyed a winning, but bruising start, to the Europa League group stage.
Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose (Vertonghen 38), Dembele (Eriksen 64), Sandro, Holtby (Paulinho 70), Lamela, Defoe, Sigurdsson.
Unused substitutes: Friedel, Soldado, Townsend, Kane.
Tromso: Sahlman, Causevic, Koppinen (Antonsen 61), Fojuy, Kristiansen, Johansen, Bendiksen (Johnsen 46), Pritchard, Moldskred, Ondrasek, Drage (Andersen 78).
Unused substitutes: Lekstrom, Nystrom, Frantzen, Helmke.
Referee: Libor Kovarik (Czech Republic)