Tottenham made sure they won their Europa League group after a 2-0 win in Norway with goals from Dembélé and Causevic (OG).
The first half began with a brief scare for Tottenham. They found themselves on the end of a Manchester City-sequel early chance as Tromsø broke into the box slipping past the backline and almost tucking home as the ball trickled just wide. Spurs replied by dominating possession in the centre with Dembélé and Chadli controlling the tempo going forward. It was obvious that the conditions were to be key as the ball left a trail on the snow stricken ground and for a brief period, continued to fall from the sky.
The Tottenham fans were in good voice early on as “oh when the Spurs,” could be heard from the terraces in Norway. Mousa Dembélé found himself in their area and his exchange with Andros Townsend impressed despite the Spurs men struggling to find a clear cut chance. The game was very scrappy and little snappy challenges were being made to make up for the mistakes caused by the conditions. Kyle Naughton caught himself out on occasion including a back pass to Brad Friedel almost allowing Drage to stroll through for Tromsø. After fourteen minutes the returning Zeki Fryers found himself flying down the left hand side with an attempted cross to Gylfi Sigurdsson cut out behind for a corner – and not for the first time.
Roberto Soldado looked to make something from a lack of service as he flicked on an effort that just evaded Etienne Capoue at the back post. It was clear from his body language that the Spaniard was unhappy early on. Gylfi Sigurdsson made something for himself on the edge of the area after receiving it from Andros Townsend on the 20 minute mark but his effort just went past the bar after cutting the ball across the goal. Townsend (who was clearly frustrated at times after giving away silly fouls) made some chances for himself, a run made down the right flank was too far as the effort he attempted to trap went out for a goal kick. He then had an effort just saved by the keeper and because of its low and hard nature, Lekström only just caught hold of it.
The best chance of the half fell to Nacer Chadli. The Belgian received the ball wide left from Sigurdsson who did very well to pick out his teammate, but his effort was blasted over into the snowy stands to disappoint the spectators. The final moment of the half was left to Soldado who made an impressive turn in the area but the skill was for nothing as Tromsø cleared. The players headed into the tunnel with the score at 0-0.
The second half started with some good pressure from Tottenham and there was even a disallowed goal in it for the boys. After an infringement from Soldado, Sigurdsson’s tap-in was disqualified but Tottenham were not down for long. Yell a card after yellow card then came as Capoue, Soldado and Townsend found themselves fouling unnecessarily. The lucky break came on the 64th minute. After an excellent bit of skill down on the left wing, Sigurdsson had won a freekick. Sigurdsson himself took it and the low ball was tucked home by what seemed Vlad Chiriches at first but replays showed was actually a deflection from the Tromsø defender. Tottenham were 1-0 up.
Not long after, Spurs were doubling their lead. Mousa Dembélé made it 2-0 as he climbed onto a Gylfi Sigurdsson pass into the box and tucked home into the left hand side of the goal. The game teetered out afterwards. The introduction of Erik Lamela was nothing to raise concern as AVB was probably giving the Argentine some minutes to recover from the weekend. Tottenham confirmed they had won the group with one game to play.
Brad: “Not Hugo.”
Naughton: “Kyle Part two, played like poo.”
Dawson: “What’s going on big guy?”
Chiriches: “The masked vigilante gets stuck in.”
Fryers: “Staking a claim for the youngsters.”
Capoue: “Was not sick on pitch.”
Dembélé: “The moose was loose.”
Sigurdsson: “Thor was a bit of a bore but without him we wouldn’t score!”
Townsend: “You won’t like him when he’s angry.”
Soldado: “Man you a sulker.”
MOTM: Mousa Dembele. Top performance and a goal. Smashing stuff from the moose.