It’s becoming a familiar European story for Tottenham as another two goals from Jermain Defoe set them on their way to victory over Tromso IL. A late third goal by Christian Eriksen was a special strike but disappointingly for Spurs they had three players go off with injuries, playing the final minutes with ten men.
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Troimso IL 0
Scorers: Defoe (2), Eriksen
Team: Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose (Vertonghen); Sandro, Dembele (Eriksen); Lamela, Holtby (Paulinho), Sigurdsson; Defoe Subs: (unuswed) Friedel, Townsend, Soldado, Kane
Andre Villas-Boas selected a team much as would have been expected against what appears to be the weakest side in the group. Erik Lamela started his first match for Spurs with the only real surprise being Hugo Lloris in goal. Jermain Defoe started and took the opportunity to add to his European goals and move further up the Spurs all-time goalscoring list.
Jermain Defoe’s two first half goals came as Spurs dominated and controlled the game on their way to a comfortable victory over their Norwegian visitors. The quick passing by Tottenham was too much for their opponents in the early stages as Tromso sat back allowing Spurs possession but trying to crowd them out once they approached the penalty area.
The early Spurs pressure came from Danny Rose on the left who cut into the area to shoot but the goalkeeper gathered the ball low at the near post. Sandro and Younes Kaboul were determined to make an impression with their commitment in tackles and challenges. After 13 minutes Defoe had his first opportunity when played in by Lewis Holtby but the goalkeeper got his foot to Defoe’s powerful first time shot.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had a shot from the edge of the area saved but Defoe made sure two minutes later. Good passing by Holtby to Lamela who played Defoe in behind the defence and as the goalkeeper went down, Defoe chipped the ball over him and into the net for a 20th minute opener.
Sandro lifted a ball over the defence but it was just too high and too hard for Lamela to control. Lamela then flicked on a corner which fell to Kaboul but his shot went past the post. With 29 minutes played Holtby played the ball forward for Defoe running into the area and he placed his shot across goal for his 20th goal in European competition.
Spurs continued to control the game with Sigurdsson shooting wide with the goalkeeper beaten and then Defoe had another shot across goal from the edge of the area.
The only disappointment for Spurs was an injury to Danny Rose who was replaced by Jan Vertonghen in the first half.
The second half was a low key affair with Spurs failing to maintain the momentum of their first half performance and as Spurs passing and technique slipped so Tromso moved forward with much greater purpose than they had shown before the interval. Spurs had the greater possession but the sharpness was missing to make that final pass and although Tromso picked up a few loose passes and moved forward, Spurs still had enough to keep them out without Lloris being called upon to make a save.
Mousa Dembele was the second player to go off injured to be replaced by Christian Eriksen. In the latter stages the game was proceeding to what appeared to be a scoreless second half when with two minutes remaining, Kyle Naughton played the ball to Eriksen who cut in towards goal, checked back and curled his shot from outside the area into the top corner of the net giving the goalkeeper no chance. A lovely strike and a few more like that would go down very well.
At this stage Kaboul limped off and Spurs finished with ten men. It was a comfortable win for Spurs to set them off on the Europa League trail but with two games in the next five days, the three injuries are a concern for AVB.