Tottenham lengthened the gap between the others in their Group after a comfortable 2-0 win over Anzhi Makhachkala on a cold Europa League night in Russia. Jermain Defoe scored his 7th of the season as well as a good contribution from Nacer Chadli.
Tottenham began the game brightly and enjoyed he majority of possession with a only minor Anzhi surges ever threatening the comfort in their play. Lewis Holtby impressed early on with the poor conditions playing centre stage. The bobbling ball was hard to control however Spurs managed to pass with ease. Vlad Chiriches had a wobbly start to his Tottenham Europa League career as only his miraculous challenges could save him from his frequent mistakes. Hugo Lloris was only called into action occasionally when Anzhi did pose an attacking threat.
Tottenham were to open the scoring however and who else but Jermain Defoe to gift us the lead. Jermain intercepted a Lewis Holtby ball (not for the first time) to drill an outstandingly emphatic shot into the net past the shocked keeper. Jermain is now just one goal away from equalling Martin Chivers’ all time Tottenham European goalscoring record. The boys only cemented what had been a comfortable game. The lead was to be doubled just minutes later. Lewis Holtby unexpectedly chipped a miraculous ball to Kyle Walker who after a short spell of running slipped the ball into Belgian Nacer Chadli who curled his low shot into the net to secure his second in two cup games as of late. Tottenham were in full flow and despite the bobbly pitch, they continued to march on. Half time came as a welcome to the hosts who were far from satisfactory despite a few lucky gaps in the Spurs defence.
The Tottenham fans faced a brief disturbance as Anzhi’s only real talent in the form of Traore entered the frame after the break. He was to be injured for the fixture however managed to make the appearance after the interval. He made an instant impact as his diverging runs, powerful strength and passing proved effective however the Spurs defence upped their game as a result and managed to keep him at bay through the magnificent Younes Kaboul. Hugo Lloris found himself in action at the hour mark as both his feet and hands managed to keep out a few Anzhi strikes, fitness however prevailed as they began to slow the pace down. The final twenty minutes saw Michael a Dawson replace Kaboul who found himself troubled with injury. The Frenchman must be utterly bored with his recurring problems and who wouldn’t be. Gylfi Sigurdsson entered the frame alongside Christian Eriksen but neither managed to threaten Anzhi who sat back and watched the game unfold in front of them.
Mousa Dembélé managed to slip amongst the back line to pose a passing threat however his effort was not attacked by his fellow teammates. Jermain Defoe too had a late chance however after rounding the keeper, he was then left with the option to pass but his effort was intercepted. The game teetered out and Spurs secured their place at the top of their group on six points.
Lloris – 9/10 – Kept busy on occasion and performed as such
Walker – 8/10 – Made some sparkling runs despite the conditions
Kaboul – 9/10 – Solid and handled Traore throughout the second half.
Chiriches – 7/10 – Very shaky but a learning process.
Fryers – 8/10 – Rarely troubled down his flank.
Sandro – 8/10 – Some disappointing passing at times.
Dembélé – 9/10 – Skilful and a delight to watch
Holtby – 9/10 – Helped in both goals
Chadli – 8/10 – A goal and some skilful play all round
Lamela – 8/10 – He will get there. Needs to bulk up in my opinion.
Defoe – 9/10 – He’s a Yiddo
MOTM – Lewis Holtby – An assist and cracking ball to Kyle. all round very good and is thriving with JD ahead of him.
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