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Spurs v Tromso, 19.09.13

Matchday 1

Defoe, 21, 29
Eriksen, 86

Attendance:- 29,000

Referee:- Mr. Libor Kovarik
Assistants:- Mr. K. Mencl & Mr. P. Filipek
Additional assistants:- Mr. M. Zelinka & Mr. P. Ardeleanu
Fourth official:- Mr. A. Kordula

Spurs(4-2-3-1):- Lloris;- Naughton, Dawson (Capt.), Kaboul, Rose (sub Vertonghen, 39); Sandro, Dembele (sub Eriksen, 64); Lamela, Holtby (sub Paulinho, 71), Sigurdsson; Defoe

Subs not used:- Friedel; Townsend; Kane, Soldado

No bookings

Tromso ( 4-3-2-1):- Sahlman; Causevic, Koppinen (Capt.) (sub Antonsen, 61), Fojut, Kristiansen; Moldskred, Bendiksen (sub Lars-Gunnar Johnsen, 46), Johansen; Pritchard, Drage ( sub Andersen, 78); Ondrasek (Armband to Fojut)

Subs not used:- Lekstrom; Nystrom, Frantzen, Helmke

Booked:- Lars-Gunnar Johnsen (foul on Dembele), Fojut (foul on Eriksen)

Cosy for Spurs

Spurs rarely had to get out of second gear tonight,as they coasted past moderate Norwegian opposition, despite starting with all six of Saturday's outfield substitutions. As anticipated, Jermain Defoe was one of those starters, and once again, he reminded Andre Villas Boas in no uncertain terms regarding his abilities, hitting another two goals to make him the club's equal top goal scorer in all competitions so far this season, alongside Soldado.

Jermain continues to climb up the ladder of all-time Spurs scorers, and is now challenging Martin Chivers' total of European goals for Spurs.

With FC Sheriff drawing with Anzhi, Spurs go top of their group at this early stage of the competition.

Those six unused substitutes were supplemented by Lloris in goal, Dawson and Rose in defence, and Dembele and Sigurdsson in midfield. Sigurdsson has been something of a work-horse throughout the season and pre-season so far.

A concern for AVB, with those games against Cardiff and Aston Villa coming up is the injuries sustained to Danny Rose, Dembele and Kaboul tonight. Rose walked off early, replaced by Vertonghen,who therefore did not get much of a rest. Dembele was stretchered off after a tackle by Tromso's second half substitute Gunnar Johnsen, who got booked for his trouble. Kaboul also left the field before the end of the game, and Spurs finished with ten men on the field.

There were a fair number of Tromso fans in the south-west corner of the Park Lane stand, and their side's formation did not match Spurs' 4-2-3-1, as they played a 4-3-2-1 with Welsh born Josh Pritchard supporting the nominated striker Zdenek Ondrasek, who did not see much of the ball.

Whilst Spurs were on top, and looked at ease, there was little action of note to report in the early stages, bar some good play by Danny Rose, taking the ball to the bye-line, before hitting a low cross that the goalkeeper saved after two touches.

Erik Lamela was making his first start for Spurs, and showed some skill in attacking situations, but also a willingness, and ability to help out at the back too. After he and Sandro made good passes in the midfield, Sigurdsson tried to create an opening in the centre outside the area, but the move broke down.

Defoe had a chance on the right of the box, but the goalkeeper came out to block his shot. After a nice build-up by Spurs after 17 minutes, Dembele fired well a above the target. After a pass inside by Danny Rose, Defoe and Sandro exchanged passes, before Defoe passed to Sigurdsson, whose shot was saved.

It wasn't long though before Spurs took a deserved lead, and it was a nice ball by Lamela, which gave Defoe he chance to score with his right foot from the right side of the area.

A minute later, after hard work by Dembele, who took the ball to the left, Mousa fed Defoe, who returned the compliment in trying to set up Lamela. The goalkeeper was alert to the situation.

Defoe scored his, and Spurs' second goal in the 29th minute after Lewis Holtby threaded a lovely ball through the defence into the path of Defoe,who had made a good run, beating the goalkeeper with a well placed left footed shot.

Danny Rose was then crocked in a tackle, and Spurs were forced to wait for a full three minutes and a break in play before they could get Jan Vertonghen on for Rose.

Spurs had one or two more efforts before the break through both Sigurdsson and Defoe, but the goalkeeper was equal to the threat upon his goal.

Tromso made a half-time change, with Bendiksen replaced by Gunnar Johnsen. The visitors appeared to try to take the initiative, but switching to a 4-4-2, with Pritchard now supporting Ondrasek more, but the second half was played largely at a pedestrian pace, with Spurs generally in total control.

Tromso did have their moments, but Lloris did not have to make a meaningful save. A Spurs attack after 54 minutes, prompted by the advance of skipper Michael Dawson ended with a shot on goal by Lewis Holtby, who fired wide.

After a decent run by Pritchard, who evaded three tackles, Spurs did gather the ball, and Lamela promote an attack, which ended with a Dembele shot going wide.

A mis-placed back pass by Holtby gave Pritchard a chance, which was spurned. Dembele was replaced by Christian Eriksen, who once again oozed skill. After an Eriksen corner, Sandro had an effort on goal, which goalkeeper Sahlman saved.

Eriksen capped the game and the scoreline with a touch of supreme class, hitting a right foot shot from a full 25 yards over Sahlman and into the net below the bar in the far corner.

It wasn't the 4-0 I had predicted, with a Defoe hat-trick, but it wasn't far off, and it was a good night's work for Spurs, who kept some key men fresh for the trip to Cardiff on Sunday.

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