Our England striker scored twice in the first half
to make it 20 goals in European action, just two behind Martin Chivers,
on what was a comfortable victory in our opening Group K match of this season’s Europa League.
With Eriksen marking his second appearance
in our colours with a magnificent late third and our defence keeping its
sixth clean sheet in seven games this term, it all combined to make it a
successful night at the Lane.
Andre Villas-Boas shuffled his pack and made
six changes from the side which beat Norwich City on Saturday, among
them Erik Lamela who was making his first start for us and also his
European debut, having never featured previously for Roma.
were immediately on the front foot against a Tromso side who are
struggling in their domestic league and arrived in N17 without a win or
goal in three previous away games in Europa League action this season.
four minutes were on the clock when Danny Rose cut in from the left and
tested visiting goalkeeper Marcus Sahlman, before the Norwegian stopper
denied Defoe with his legs on 15 minutes.
Mousa Dembele and Gylfi
Sigurdsson tried their luck from distance inside 60 seconds shortly
after and on 21 minutes we were ahead. Holtby won the ball centrally,
laid it off to Lamela who slipped in Defoe and the dangerman dinked the
ball over Sahlman and into the net.
It was very much one-way traffic as Tromso tried to contain but were constantly opened up as we carved out chance after chance.
Kaboul lashed a shot wide at the far post after a Holtby corner missed
everyone in front of goal and we doubled our advantage on 29 minutes
when Defoe scored his 137th goal in our colours. It was almost a carbon
copy of his first on the night, but this time down the left flank as
Holtby played him in and he calmly beat the Tromso keeper with a
There was a setback on 34 minutes when Rose pulled
up as he went on a run down the left, the full-back replaced by
Vertonghen. But that didn’t stop the flow of attacks, Sigurdsson the
next to fire wide.
Tromso’s first attempt on goal on the evening
came two minutes from the interval when their Welsh midfielder Josh
Pritchard, on loan from Fulham, shot from the right-angle of the area
but it trickled harmlessly wide. At the other end, Defoe and Holtby both
went close as we finished the half well on top.
The second period
followed exactly the same pattern, virtually defence against attack as
we continued to press forward, dominating possession and chances
created. Holtby and Sigurdsson were both at the heart of most of our
good work and the pair each had early chances, the German dragging a
shot wide before Sigurdsson’s shot on the turn actually hit Defoe and
bounced to safety.
Dembele made way for Eriksen just after the
hour mark, the Belgian midfielder coming off injured after a tackle from
Lars Gunnar Johnsen who received a booking, and Pritchard threatened
again for the visitors moments later, blazing over after Holtby was
dispossessed in midfield.
It didn’t take long for Eriksen to get
involved, picking up where he left off against Norwich on his impressive
debut, as he clipped a delightful deep cross which was met by the head
of Sandro, but straight at Sahlman.
There was a lull in
proceedings as neither side produced anything of note until Tromso
sprung an attack down the right 10 minutes from time, substitute
Kent-Are Antonsen finding space to lay the ball back to Morten Moldskred
but just as he was about to shoot, Lamela showed his defensive
qualities to get back and poke out a toe to knock the ball away.
then the icing on the cake. Defoe gathered Paulinho’s crossfield pass
on the byline and laid it back to the supporting Kyle Naughton, who in
turn popped infield to Eriksen. The Dane looked up and hit a superb
25-yard right-foot shot which curled up and over Sahlman and into the
far corner, a delightful way to open his account in our colours and cap a
Spurs: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose (Vertonghen 38), Dembele (Eriksen 64), Sandro, Holtby (Paulinho 71), Lamela, Defoe, Sigurdsson. Substitutes (not used): Friedel, Townsend, Soldado, Kane.
Tromso: Sahlman, Causevic, Koppinen (Antonsen 62), Fojut, Kristiansen, Johansen, Bendiksen (Johnsen 46), Moldskred, Pritchard, Drage (Andersen 78), Ondrasek. Substitutes (not used): Lekstrom, Nystrom, Frantzen, Helmke.
Goals: Spurs - Defoe 21, 29, Eriksen 86
Yellows: Tromso – Johnsen, Fojut
Referee: Libor Kovarik (Czech Rep)