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Spurs v Dinamo Tbilisi, 29.08.13

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
4th Qualifying Round (Second leg)
THURSDAY 29TH AUGUST, 2013
8.05pm
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (2) DINAMO TBILISI 0 (0)
(Aggregate score 8-0)

Scorers:-
Defoe, 40, 45
Holtby, 69

Attendance:- 26,189

Referee:- Mr. Luca Banti
Assistants:- Mr. Nicola Nicoletti & Mr. Alessandro Costanzo
Fourth official:- Mr. Marco Guida (All officials from Italy)

Teams:-
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Friedel; Walker (sub Fryers, 55), Kaboul (Capt.), Vertonghen, Naughton; Sandro, Carroll; Townsend (sub Kane, 46), Holtby(sub Dembele, 75), Sigurdsson; Defoe

Subs not used:- Lloris; Capoue, Paulinho, Soldado

Booked:- Sandro (foul on Goga), Defoe (simulation)

Dinamo Tbilisi (4-2-3-1):- Loria (Capt.); Khurtsilava, Kvaratskhelia, Gvelesiani, Kvirkvelia (sub Glisic, 33); Dzaria, Khmaladze; Grigalashvili (subSeturidze, 85), Goga, Merebashvili (sub Khocholava, 77); Vouho

Subs not used:- Zarkua; Papava, Shashiashvili, Dvali

Booked:- Merebashvili ( foul on Walker)

Georgians go south

It was always going to be a low key affair at White Hart Lane tonight, after Spurs won the first leg of this tie by a decisive 5-0 margin. Andre Villas-Boas was able to make 8 changes to the starting line-up after last Sunday's win over Swansea, and yet the team still seemed stronger than expected.

Jermain Defoe got his first start of the season, and made a point with two goals from open play, with Lewis Holtby also making his first start, and scoring his first senior goal for the club. It was the best goal of the night too.

Kyle Walker was replaced by Zeki Fryers after 55 minutes, and Jan Vertonghen had a gentle sort of game,so Spurs will be in good shape for Sunday's North London Derby. As always, I use the term "North" very loosely, of course!

Andros Townsend started tonight, and was replaced at half-time by Harry Kane, so arguably, this was a vote of confidence in Andros, with Aaron Lennon perhaps not being available for the Arsenal game. Mind you, there is still some unfinished transfer business going on, isn't there?

Harry Kane had a very good half, I feel, and with Defoe still in place Kane was able to show that his natural game is to play in support of a main striker. This he did very well, I feel, from a starting position on the left of midfield.

Tom Carroll also had the opportunity to show off his skills, and whilst he looked comfortable in the middle, I did feel that his passing accuracy was not at its best.

There was a good crowd present, but only a handful of Georgian fans, who saw little from their side to justify their journey. It was a while before we saw a meaningful move, but after 11 minutes, Spurs did show some artistry. Kaboul (once again Captain) carried the ball almost to the half way line, before releasing Townsend, down the right. Townsend fed Defoe, who was on the right side of the area, hitting a shot wide across the goalkeeper.

Soon after that, the busy Lewis Holtby passed to Defoe, who was inside the box, but struggled to get the ball out from his feet. There were a couple of early bookings, one of which went to Sandro, who was getting a welcome start.

Jermain Defoe was in the box after 27 minutes, and wanted a handball, but the Italian referee gave the decision in favour of the Georgian defence. Carroll had a chance, after a Holtby win on the right, but put his shot over.

Tbilisi had to make an early change of their injured left back Kvirkvelia, but this was a straight swap. Townsend and Sigurdsson made an onfield swap of their positions on the flanks.

Spurs took the lead through a left footed shot by Defoe, after Sandro had got a foot in near the half-way line to allow Holtby and Sigurdsson to take the ball forward and deliver to Defoe, who side-stepped his defender, and planted home with aplomb.

Just before the break, it was 2-0 to Spurs, and two goals to Defoe. Carroll had been involved in the build-up, but it was Walker who sent Sigurdsson to the bye-line. Siggy delivered a low,hard and penetrating cross,which beat the keeper, and gave Defoe an easy finish.

Dinamo Tbilisi actually had a half chance after Vouho was onto a long ball over the top. Vouho was forced out to the left, and hit the side netting with his shot.

Tom Carroll had a shot on goal, after Kane's pass, but it was not a great threat to goalkeeper and captain Giorgo Loria. After nice work through the middle, and a final pass by Holtby, Defoe hit a decent left footed shot, which Loria saved, conceding a corner. Defoe hit another effort wide, after Sigurdsson's pass.

Zeki Fryers replaced Kyle Walker. Fryers took over at left back, with Naughton switching to the right. Fryers got forward a lot, but had a tendency to side-foot his crosses, which lacked power and penetration.

Defoe and Holtby both has shot just off target, before Sigurdsson hit the post with a 20 yard curler after Kane's pass. The ball rebounded to Defoe, but he had already been flagged offside. Holtby worked well through the middle and got the ball to Kane, whose shot had insufficient strength to worry the keeper.

The visitors had another chance after a free kick, taken by Merebashvili, and headed wide by Vouho.

Lewis Holtby scored a lovely goal from fully 22 yards, after Defoe's final ball, and good work by Fryers and Kane in the build-up. Holtby even did a Klinsmann type dive to celebrate the moment!

Kaboul won great applause for a powerful run down the right flank, and a ball to Holtby, whose shot was blocked. Defoe had another chance after good approach work by Kane,who had an excellent effort, pushed over by Loria, after Sigurdsson's pass.

Defoe seemed to be desperate to get his hat-trick, but was adjudged by he referee to have taken a dive in the box, with only a minute of normal time remaining.

Now we wait for the draw for the Europa League Group stages later today, and draw breath before Sunday's crunch game at The Emirates.

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