UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
THURSDAY 23RD OCTOBER, 2014
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5(2) ASTERAS TRIPOLIS 1(0)
Kane, 13, 75, 81
Lamela, 29, 66
Referee:- Ivan Kruzliak
Assistants:- Tomas Somolani & Tomas Mokos
Additional assistants:- Richard Trutz & Vladimir Vnuk
Fourth official:- Ondrej Brendza
( All officials from Slovakia)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Capoue, Dembele; Townsend (sub Lennon, 83), Kane, Lamela (sub Eriksen, 63); Adebayor (sub Chadli, 77)
Subs not used:- Vorm; Chiriches; Stambouli; Soldado
Sent off:- Lloris (86) - foul outside area, preventing goal-scoring opportunity.
Asteras Tripolis (4-2-3-1):- Kosicky; Lluy, Sankare, Zisopoulos, Panteliadis; Usero (Capt.), Munafo; Mazza (sub Balasetas, 82), Rolle (sub Barrales, 73), Tsokanis; Parra (sub Fernandez, 80)
Subs not used:- Theodoropoulos; Badibanga, Gianniotas, Kiriakopoulos
Booked:- Panteliadis (foul on Townsend)
Andy Porter would have enjoyed this
Club historian Andy Porter, who so sadly died suddenly this week, would have enjoyed this game. You see, Andy didn't just follow the fortunes of our first team down the years, he also followed the Academy and Development squad avidly. Andy would have seen Harry Kane as a 16 year old player, and would have been so pleased to see Harry score his first hat-trick for the senior Spurs side.
Why, Kane even finished the game wearing Hugo Lloris's goalkeeper's jersey, after the Spurs captain rashly brought down Tsokanis outside his area, and was dismissed for preventing a goal-scoring opportunity. So, although Hugo craftily earnt himself a break from the trip to Greece in two weeks' time, the man finishing the game in the goalkeeper's shirt could once again be voted the Spurs Odyssey man of the match!
Mind you, Kane will have competition from Spurs' other goal-scorer tonight, Erik Lamela. Lamela's first goal was an audacious left foot strike from the left side of the area, which looked as if it had been hit with his right foot, but was in fact struck with his left foot, from behind the right! (It's called a "Rabona")No wonder Erik raced all the way back to the North-East corner to celebrate in front of his friends and family.
Whilst Andy Porter would have enjoyed the game, Spurs legend Bill Nicholson, who was remembered on the tenth anniversary of his passing, would have been less than satisfied with Spurs' defending, and probably Lloris's dismissal, which was totally unnecessary in view of the fact we were 5-0 up at the time. Bill's dissatisfaction would have been based on our vulnerability at the back, where we were too often caught on the hop and might have conceded at least two more goals, had it not been for more Lloris heroics.
A sparse crowd of just 21,428 souls was in attendance for this game, which was live on ITV 4. Even the Greek attendance was poor, and could surely have been boosted by some London based compatriots. However, Tripoli is something of a Greek outpost, I suppose.
Spurs fielded a stronger side than expected, with Capoue and Dembele behind Townsend, Kane and Lamela, and Adebayor up front.
The formations were matched. One of Asteras's Argentine imports, Mazza, caused the Spurs defence regular problems, with his presence on the right side of an attacking midfield. Rolle was pulling strings from a deeper position.
Mazza had the first chance of the game after 5 minutes. A Lamela cross was cleared and the long ball got the better of Capoue in midfield, allowing Mazza to get behind the defence, and to hit a shot across goal from the right-hand side.
A minute later, Kane had a decent right footed effort pass wide of the post, receiving the ball from the left.
In the thirteenth minute I shouted aloud "Somebody have a pop at goal" as Spurs had good possession, but seemed afraid of the goal. Quick as a flash, Kane obliged after Lamela fed Capoue, who passed the ball to his right, where Harry hit a good hard low shot past the goalkeeper's right hand.
After 22 minutes, Capoue, who had been working hard in his own half, got forward again, exchanged with Kane, before getting into the box, but having the ball cleared off his feet, before he could shoot.
There was no offside flag for Parra, as the ball was sent over the top of the Spurs defence. Parra's first effort was well saved by Lloris, but the ball ran back to the striker, whose shot was now cleared off the line by Ben Davies.
Within minutes, Spurs had a two goal cushion, courtesy of that first Lamela goal, which arose, after the ball broke to him from the right side of the box.
After 39 minutes, Townsend received a Vertonghen clearance inside his own half, and released Adebayor with an excellent long ball down the left flank. Eventually, the ball was back at the feet of Townsend, who by now was on the edge of the area, and hit a good left foot shot just outside the far post.
Two minutes into the second half, Townsend crossed from the right and Adebayor headed back to Lamela, whose shot was blocked for a corner. A shot on the Spurs goal was deflected and had Lloris beaten, but Vertonghen was on hand to clear from the right of goal.
Lamela made an exciting run from the half-way line towards the Asteras box after 59 minutes, feeding Adebayor, who passed back to Kane. Kane hit the shot, which was parried, but Lamela was called offside as he tried to score from the follow-up,
Spurs went three up after Kane had been called offside, and Spurs won the ball back from the Greek free kick. Kane slipped the ball to Lamela, whose first effort was a chipped shot, which was cleared back to his feet. This time, Erik hit a good hard low shot which beat the keeper.
Minutes later, Lloris made a brilliant one-handed save reaching out to his left, preventing Usero from scoring, after Rolle had chipped him a pass. Soon after that, Rolle himself had a shot over the target, before being replaced by Barrales.
Spurs scored a fourth goal in the 75th minute. Dembele made a run to come to the flag for a short corner by Lamela, before making space for a powerful shot, which the goalkeeper could only parry, and Harry Lane followed up to score his second.
Substitute Christian Eriksen looked lively, and combined with Ben Davies, who cut the ball back to Dembele, whose shot was deflected for a corner. Soon after that, Harry had his hat-trick. His first effort, a shot, was beaten away as far as Fazio on the right of the area. Fazio lifted a cross to the back post, and Kane headed home for his seventh goal of the season. Sadly none of them have come in the Premier League, but Harry has little chance in this sphere so far.
The final action of note came when Hugo raced out of his box to bring down Tsokanis, giving the referee little choice really, but to send the Spurs captain and keeper off. Spurs had used all their subs, and to his credit, Kane raced after Lloris to take his gloves and shirt, with his first duty as emergency keeper to try and keep out Barrales's free kick. Unfortunately, Harry fumbled the shot, and conceded a goal, but that didn't stop the Spurs fans regaling him with chants such as "England's number one", and "He's one of our own, Harry Kane, he's one of our own". Harry lapped up the adulation. After all, he had had an excellent night!
Besiktas beat Partizan Belgrade 4-0, so we are level with them on points and goal difference after three games. Our return match against Asteras in two weeks' time will be important regarding successful passage through Group C.
Partizan 0 Besiktas 4
Europa League Group C
P W D L F-A GD PTS
Spurs 3 1 2 0 6-2 4 5
Besiktas 3 1 2 0 6-2 4 5
Asteras Tripolis 3 1 1 1 4-6 -2 4
Partizan 3 0 1 2 0-6 -6 1