A brace from Jermain Defoe and a screamer from Lewis Holtby saw us cruise to a 3-0 victory over Dinamo Tbilisi at White Hart Lane to secure an 8-0 aggregate win and a place in the draw for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.
It was a comfortable night’s work for the lads as we dominated from start to finish, Defoe scoring twice in five minutes at the end of the first half before German midfielder Holtby’s fine 20-yard rocket midway through the second period.
Jermain’s goals were his 134th and 135th for the club as he climbed up to sixth in our all-time goalscorer list, and they made it 18 in European competition for the frontman, just four behind Martin Chivers’ record of 22.
Leading 5-0 from the first leg in Georgia last week and with a big North London derby on the horizon on Sunday, Andre Villas-Boas was able to utilise his squad and made seven changes from the team which enjoyed the win in Tbilisi. Only Kyle Naughton, Younes Kaboul, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andros Townsend kept their place, while Brad Friedel and Holtby were making their first appearances of the season.
It was flying winger Townsend who terrorised Tbilisi last week and he was quickly into the action again on the night, firing over after just three minutes before threading a pass through the middle to Defoe, who shot wide.
We dominated possession and continued to carve out half chances to keep the crowd entertained before the goals came. Townsend again let fly on 17 minutes, while we had penalty appeals waved away 10 minutes later when David Khurtsilava appeared to handle the ball in the area in a tussle with Defoe.
Just after the half hour mark, Tom Carroll volleyed over after Holtby’s first effort rebounded to him, before the opening goal of night on 40 minutes.
Sandro won possession in typically combative fashion on halfway, the ball ran to Carroll who found Holtby. His incisive pass released Defoe through the middle and he hit a left foot shot which flew past Loria.
The visitors just couldn’t get a foothold in the game and were constantly being pushed back as we continue to boss proceedings and on the stroke of half-time Defoe added his second of the night.
This time Sandro and Kyle Walker combined to find Sigurdsson and his low cross from the right was turned in by the England striker on the edge of the six yard box.
Townsend’s evening came to an end at half-time when he was replaced by striker Harry Kane and the second period opened with Dinamo’s first shot at goal of the evening, Patrick Vouho latching on to Giorgi Gvelesiani’s long ball but he could only fire into the side-netting of Friedel’s goal.
Defoe almost completed his hat-trick shortly after when he was found by Holtby down the left-hand side of the area but Loria managed to divert his effort for a corner with his outstretched hand, before Sigurdsson almost made it 3-0 on the night but his shot from 20 yards drifted just wide.
Just before the hour, there was a debut for young defender Zeki Fryers when he entered the fray in place of Walker and we continued to carve out the chances with Defoe and Holtby both seeing efforts miss the target.
And Sigurdsson couldn’t have come any closer to his first goal of the season when he curled a delightful right-foot shot from the edge of the area which beat Loria but not the crossbar.
In the 69th minute we hit the bar again, but this time we weren’t to be denied. Defoe and Carroll worked the ball out to Holtby 25 yards from goal and he drilled a rising right-foot shot which clipped the underside of the crossbar as it flew into the back of the net – his first goal in our colours.
There was little action of note in the closing 20 minutes as the game petered out, Loria’s acrobatic save to deny Kane from 25 yards the highlight, while the night ended in a touch of disappointment for Defoe in the 89th minute when he was booked for diving following a challenge from Khurtsilava in the area.
All in all, another good night’s work.
Spurs: Friedel, Walker (Fryers 57), Kaboul, Vertonghen, Naughton, Carroll, Sandro, Townsend (Kane 45), Holtby (Dembele 76), Sigurdsson, Defoe. Substitutes (not used): Lloris, Capoue, Paulinho, Soldado.
Dinamo: Loria, Khurtsilava, Kvaratskhelia, Gvelesiani, Kvirkvelia (Glisic 34), Khmaladze, Dzaria, Grigalashvili (Seturidze 86), Merebashvili (Khocholava 78), Goga, Vouho. Substitutes (not used): Zarkua, Dvali, Papava, Shashiashvili.
Goals: Spurs – Defoe (40, 45), Holtby (69).
Yellows: Spurs – Sandro, Defoe; Dinamo – Merebashvili.
Referee: Luca Banti (Italy).
Venue: White Hart Lane, London
Referee: Mr L Banti