Spurs achieved what they set out for in Norway – the win over Tromso secured top position in Group K of the Europa League and raised spirits a little after last weekend.Spurs did what they had to do against Tromso and as in most of this season’s Europa League matches, they weren’t extended and their class ensured that they were able to survive when Tromso caused a few anxious moments with occasional forays forward. As a team Spurs worked hard without creating any real chances, the home goalkeeper having few saves to make. Through time Spurs wore Tromso down and in the second half managed to breach the well organised home defence. Two goals secured the victory – an own goal and an effort from Mousa Dembele – as they maintain their 100 per cent record in this season’s Europa League. They are one of only two teams with full points after 5 games, Salzburg is the other team after Fiorentina drew last night.
Individually, few of the players did anything outstanding or anything to suggest that the team’s performances in the Premier League are going to differ much from what has gone before during the early months of the season. Andros Townsend caused a few problems when he got to the bye-line, Dembele had more of a presence in midfield and Gylfi Sigurdsson worked hard but only occasionally linked midfield and striker although it was his pass which set up the second goal.
Vlad Chiriches, first, in central defence and then at right back was the one player who brought some energy to the game and, initially, it looked as if he had scored the first goal but on closer inspection, the ball had deflected off a defender as he went in to challenge for Chadli’s low cross from the free-kick.
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Spurs have now won the group and with Anzhi also qualified in second place, the match between the two teams at White Hart Lane has nothing but pride at stake.