UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP J
THURSDAY 10TH DECEMBER, 2015
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(3) AS MONACO FC 1(0)
Lamela, 2, 15, 37
El Shaarawy, 61
Referee:- Ivan Bebek
Assistants:- Tomislav Petrovic & Miro Grgic
Additional assistants:- Domagoj Vuckov & Goran Gabrilo
Fourth official:- Goran Pataki
(All officials from Croatia)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies; Dier (sub Bentaleb, 42), Carroll; Lamela (sub Chadli, 62), Son, Onomah; N'Jie (sub Alli, 79)
Subs not used:- Vorm; Carter-Vickers (no. 38); Townsend; Kane
Booked:- Bentaleb (foul)
Monaco (4-2-3-1):- Subasic; Dirar, Fortuna dos Santos (aka Wallace), Toulalan (Capt.), Elderson; Bakayoko, Pasalic; Silva (sub Diarra, 65), Moutinho (sub Lemar, 46), El Shaarawy, L. Traore (sub Mbappe-Lottin, 56)
Subs not used:- Nardi; Carvalho, Mexique, N'Doram
Booked:- Wallace (Dissent), Toulalan (foul on N'Jie), Dirar (Dissent)
Erik the Tri-King!
Erik Lamela scored a first half hat-trick (his first for Tottenham), to send Spurs convincingly on their way into the Europa League Round of 32 as Group J winners. Tom Carroll scored an excellent close range goal in the second half to restore the three goal margin after Monaco had been allowed to get a goal back after an hour of the game.
Spurs had already qualified and only needed one point to qualify as leaders, whereas Monaco needed a win to stand any chance of overtaking Anderlecht. As it happened, the Belgian side beat Qarabag, so Monaco stood no chance,but the way they approached the game suggested they didn't fancy their chances at the outset.
There was only a pocket of two or three hundred fans from the Principality in the South of France, and they were given little cause to cheer.
Mauricio Pochettino was able to give a complete rest to five or six players for Sunday's home game against Newcastle, with three of the back five absent, along with Harry Kane, who was unused on the bench. Mousa Dembele was absent sick, and will hopefully be fit on Sunday, whilst both Eric Dier went off after just 40 minutes as a precaution after suffering a knock, and Dele Alli was allowed 10 minutes towards the end of the game. Eriksen was also rested completely.
Kevin Wimmer had a rare outing next to Alderweireld, who is ever present in all but one of our games this season. 18 year of Josh Onomah, who has made several cameo substitute appearances, was given his full debut, and displayed skills and maturity beyond his years. Onomah was one of the stars of the show, and was given the Eriksen role, nominally on the left, but roving across the midfield.
Tom Carroll also made a start for the first time since September, and his goal was just reward for a busy and skilful game, in which his passing skills came to the fore. On the odd occasion when he did make a mistake, he and/or his team-mates recovered the situation.
Spurs were a strong attacking force with more strings to their bow than when so much of the play seeks to use Kane. Son, Lamela and N'Jie also played a full part, and Spurs' play was slick and fast for so much of the game, especially in the first half.
We got off to the best of starts after little more than a minute. Onomah spread the play from centre to N'Jie on the left. N'Jie exchanged with Ben Davies who got to the line and sent in a low cross which was turned in by Lamela at close range.
Soon after that, both N'Jie and Onomah chased a Davies long ball. N'Jie was offside for Onomah's pass. After more slick passing after 13 minutes, Onomah fed the ball to Son, who tried a shot from 38 yards, which was well over.
Lamela then got a second goal, when he carried forward Son's pass, firing from just outside the box. Lamela's shot should have been saved by Subasic, but he allowed the ball under his body. The keeper did redeem himself with several good second half saves in a game when Spurs arguably should have scored even more.
Lamela then turned provider for Son with a measured pass, but the South Korean was offside this time. Son had the ball in the side netting from beyond the back post after a corner taken by Lamela and won by Onomah's combative play.
Midway brought the half, Spurs attacked after Onomah picked up Lloris's accurate long throw. Onomah attacked down the left, exchanged with Carroll, before Son too got involved in the move, which finished with a decent Carroll effort floating just wide of the goalkeeper's left post. Subasic saved an Onomah shot at his near post, when threatened from the right.
Monaco had managed one or two attacks, but the first real threat on goal came from a shot by Pasalic, which took a defensive deflection resulting in a corner.
More slick passing play by Spurs was started by Dier, and ended with an Onomah shot going over after N'Jie's pass. N'Jie and Son were providers when Lamela scored his hat-trick goal, with his right foot from the right of goal.
After taking that knock, Dier went off, under protest, but no doubt encouraged by the bench to get an ice-pack on and prepare for Sunday.
Former AVB target Moutinho was replaced at half-time by Lemar, who gave Bentaleb such a test that the Spurs man took a booking before Lemar advanced and hit his shot wide. Spurs had taken their feet off the gas at this stage, perhaps understandably.
Onomah had a shot well saved by Subasic, after Son had fed him the ball. Trippier and Lamela had been involved earlier in the move on the right wing.
Monaco's second substitute Mbappe-Lottin won the ball well on the left flank, passing inside to El Shaarawy, who scored a good goal with a shot to the left of Lloris. El Shaarawy had scored Monaco's equaliser in the Stade Louis II stadium in October.
Erik Lamela naturally got a great ovation when he was replaced by Nacer Chadli after 61 minutes.
Spurs now picked up the tempo again, playing plenty of prolonged possession football. N'Jie had a good shot well saved by the Monaco keeper after good play by both Onomah and Son. However, Lloris had to make a couple of good saves from a corner at the other end, one of the saves was from close range.
Tom Carroll's goal came in the follow-up after Son had fed the ball to N'Jie whose shot had again been saved by Subasic. Carroll collected the ball towards the edge of the area, carried it forward, wrong-footing the defender, before scoring from a sharp angle near the bye-line. The BBC match report even compares the goal with the type often scored by Lionel Messi. Praise indeed!
There are some good teams waiting for Spurs in the next round, to be drawn on Monday, one of which is Fiorentina, who knocked us out last season.
On another note, 4-1 is becoming a popular score for us this season. First Man City, then West Ham and now Monaco. Here's to something similar on Sunday against Newcastle!
· Erik Lamela's hat=trick was his first in his professional career. He is in equal second place in the list of Europa League scorers with 5 so far this season.
· Tom Carroll's goal was his first senior goal for Spurs.
· Cameron Carter-Vickers is a USA under-20 International. he is still just 17 years old, but will celebrate his 18th birthday on New Year's Eve.
EUROPA LEAGUE GROUP J
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Spurs 6 4 1 1 12-6 6 13
2. Anderlecht 6 3 1 2 8-6 2 10
3. Monaco 6 1 3 2 5-9 -4 6
4. Qarabag 6 1 1 4 4-8 -4 4