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#FirstTeam #EuropaLeague #MatchReport #LASK

LASK swept aside in European opener - report and debrief

Spurs 3-0 LASK

Thu 22 October 2020, 21:57|Tottenham Hotspur

Our UEFA Europa League group stage campaign opened in perfect fashion on Thursday night as we brushed aside Austrian outfit LASK with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The opening goal came in the 18th minute when captain on the night Ben Davies clipped a lovely ball forward which Carlos Vinicius – making his debut - controlled superbly with one touch before delivering a perfect square pass with his second, finding Lucas Moura unmarked in the box and he coolly converted past Alexander Schlager.

We doubled our advantage nine minutes later with a goal which stemmed from excellent work by Sergio Reguilon, who burst past four LASK defenders as he came in off the left flank, laid the ball to Erik Lamela who in turn found Gareth Bale in the left channel. His low cross was meant for Vinicius but in trying to prevent the ball reaching its target, Andres Andrade stuck out a leg and diverted it past his own goalkeeper.

And it was almost 3-0 within 20 seconds of the restart as we won the ball back quickly and Lamela forced Schlager into a save low down to his left.

The visitors had their best chances of the first half in the final minute, the first falling to their skipper Gernot Trauner whose fierce drive was blocked well by Matt Doherty before Joe Hart produced an excellent diving save to palm away Andreas Gruber’s curling left-footed effort from 20 yards out.

We were always in control throughout the second period and eventually added to our tally with six minutes remaining thanks to another well-worked effort. Davies pinged a pass out wide to Doherty on the right, his cross was met with a delicious cushioned header from Vinicius into the path of substitute Heung-Min Son just inside the area and he produced a neat finish to wrap up the win.

Promising debut for Vinicius

One of the highlights of the night for Spurs fans was the inclusion of Carlos Vinicius, making his debut following his loan move from Benfica, and it was a promising first outing for the Brazilian forward.

Playing up top on his own in our 4-2-3-1 formation, he was quickly in the thick of the action and could have made a dream start to his Spurs career in the ninth minute but mistimed his header when he really should have tested Schlager.

But he refused to let that early miss affect his game and featured prominently in many of our attacking forays with some nice touches and decent hold up play. And he showed real quality in setting up our first goal, superbly controlling Davies’ pass before a slide-rule ball in for Lucas to score.

Although playing centrally, the 25-year-old popped up at times on the left and right, always looking to stay involved in the game, whether that was by running the channels, winning back possession high up the pitch or making great runs off the ball to find space.

He also had a big role in our third goal too, producing a glancing headed assist – which had more than a touch of Alan Gilzean about it – for Son to score late on.

A good night all round

As well as the win, clean sheet and an impressive debut from Vinicius, there were plenty of other positives for Jose Mourinho on the night.

The Head Coach gave a ‘second’ full debut to Bale and he was able to get a solid 62 minutes of football into his legs as he continues to get fully match fit, while we also saw a return to action off the bench for Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso.

We also gave a debut to young midfielder Jack Clarke, who came on in the 86th minute and almost capped his brief cameo with a goal when he controlled the ball inside the area and cracked a right-foot drive that fizzed just wide.

The game itself was our first group stage match in the UEFA Europa League since 2015. Aside from the recent qualifiers, the last time we played in the competition was in February, 2017, where we met Belgian side KAA Gent in the round of 32 after being eliminated from that season's Champions League in the group stage.

As for the team news, Jose made eight changes from the team that played West Ham on Sunday, with only Davinson Sanchez, Reguilon and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg keeping their places in the starting XI.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'Serious, professional' performance pleases Jose

“When you have the first match at home, it’s very important to win the three points and to have this positive start,” Jose said afterwards.

“The boys took it seriously - from the first minute you could see they were not here to have fun, we were here to take it professionally.

“We made it nice and easy, because it was not easy. If you watch them play in their league and in the qualifiers, they are not easy at all, but the boys made it look easy because they took it always seriously.

“To have 12 players on the bench gives me a great feeling, because you don’t leave anybody out, and everybody is together, everybody is involved, and that gives options in case you need to make changes.”

Spurs 3-0 LASK

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Hart, Doherty, Sanchez, Davies (c), Reguilon, Hojbjerg (Sissoko 62), Winks, Bale (Son 62), Lamela (Dele 62), Lucas (Lo Celso 78), Vinicius (Clarke 86). Substitutes (not used): Lloris, Austin, Aurier, Alderweireld, Ndombele, Bergwijn, Kane.

LASK (3-4-3): Schlager, Wiesinger, Trauner (c), Andrade (Potzmann 46), Ranftl, Holland (Grgic 5), Michorl, Renner (Filipovic 39), Gruber (Eggestein 46), Raguz, Balic (Goiginger 78). Substitutes (not used): Lawal, Gebauer, Ramsebner, Madsen, Cheberko.

Match data

Goals: Spurs – Lucas 18, Andrade 27 (OG), Son 84.

Yellow card: LASK - Michorl.

Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (Sweden).

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Light cloud, light winds, 10 degrees.