Job Done As Tottenham Ease To Two Goal Win Over Anzhi

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Two first half goals gave Tottenham a comfortable win over Anzhi Makhachkala in their second group match in the Europa League. Spurs top the group four points ahead of Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova who drew 1 – 1 against Tromso in Norway.

Nacer Chadli scored Tottenham’s second goal [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Anzchi Makhachkala 0  Tottenham Hotspur 2

Scorers: Defoe, Chadli

Team: Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Kaboul (Dawson), Fryers; Dembele, Sandro; Lamela (Sigurdsson), Holtby (Eriksen), Chadli; Defoe Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Kane, Soldado

Andre Villas-Boas again selected a strong team to play Anzhi. Hugo Lloris started in goal and Younes Kaboul returned from injury to play alongside Vlad Chiriches in central defence. Sandro and Mousa Dembele were in central midfield with Erik Lamela, Lewis Holtby and Nacer Chadli. AVB rewarded Zeki Fryers for his impressive performance against Aston Villa in last week’s Cup win by selecting him in the starting eleven. Jermain Defoe was wanting to maintain his record of two goals in every match he’s started this season.

Two first half goals set Spurs for victory against Anzhi who had worked hard in the early stages to deny them and then tried to break quickly. Spurs controlled the play throughout with only the occasional counter-attack from the home team to worry the defence. Early pressure from Spurs came through Kyle Walker on the right and Dembele through the middle. A long ball forward saw Anzhi threaten but the striker was adjudged offside. Vlad Chiriches was caught in possession but battled back to regain possession and a few moments later he misjudged a bouncing ball but again recovered to concede a corner.

Spurs increased the tempo of the game and forced Anzhi back.Walker got forward to cross but a defender cleared as Defoe closed in. The Spurs striker shot past from outside the box and Sandro got forward to shoot and the goalkeeper dived low to save.

Anzhi looked to break on the left and Solomatin’s pace threatened but Lloris dived at the advancing forward’s feet. Lewis Holtby tried a curling shot from distance but the goalkeeper punched it clear. Spurs had a period of patient passing and were rewarded with a goal from Defoe – his seventh of the season and 21st goal for Spurs in Europe. Lewis Holtby found him on right of the area and Defoe hit a rising shot into the roof of the net after 34 minutes.

Five minutes later and Nacer Chadli added a second. Holtby found Walker in space on the right and his cross into the area was guided into the net by Chadli from 12 yards, the bounce of the ball deceiving the goalkeeper as he dived to his right.

In the second half Anzhi introduced their leading striker Lacina Traore who has been out through injury. he brought height to the attack and gave it a point of focus. the home team worked hard and pressed Spurs back but with very little real threat. the main source of danger continued to be the pace of Solomatin but Spurs held firm even though with the two goal lead there was less impact from their play. Lloris made a couple of saves to maintain a clean sheet and secure the three points.

It was a comfortable win for Spurs who look set to qualify for the knock-out stages at an early stage of the competition unless there are any unexpected set-backs in the next couple of games. With Tottenham so in control of the game, it was difficult for any of the players to make a major impact, especially on the uneven pitch but Lewis Holtby was again involved in setting up both goals with an ‘assist’ for Defoe’s opener and Vlad Chiriches impressed after an unsure start. Of concern for AVB will be another injury to Kaboul which required him to be replaced by Dawson towards the end.

Job done for Spurs who travel to Moldova for their next Europa League game and then play Sheriff at White Hart Lane in the next set of matches.