Tottenham started the half on the back foot. After Anzhi threw themselves at the back four, they had little chances but continued to pressure our area. Friedel made a good save as Ewerton came clean through for the visitors as try Zeki Fryers tackle proved enough to spook the forward. Chances came few and far between in the first half and Spurs managed to make the most of the first real chance. On 7 minutes, Andros Townsend broke down the left and as he went to enter the area, he was brought down just outside. The resultant freekick was whipped into the middle by Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson and Spaniard a Roberto Soldado beat his marker to the ball to perform a backwards header into the goal. Roberto celebrated jubilantly after having not scored from open play since his goal away at Villa Park.
Kyle Naughton tried to double the lead not long after as his fizzed effort was saved, Spurs fans thought the chance would fall to Andros Townsend after the keeper failed to clear it properly. The 1882 movement were in full voice throughout the half. Some particularly memorable chants about Arsenal players old and new were the pick of the bunch.
The lead was doubled not long after. Mousa Dembélé did well to find Lamela out wide and the Argentine then fed the ball through the backline to Soldado who poked home for his second. The goal was particularly potent. The Spaniard was flying and on a hatrick within 16 minutes. He was thriving in this environment as he produced some skilful play down the left to evade defenders and help to feed in Andros. The remainder of the half saw many a chance for Tottenham to continue however the Anzhi defence had a strong period at times. The final chance of the half fell to the travellers and they took the chance. The in-swinging corner was met by Ewerton who stabbed home to make it 2-1, a similar strike to Paulinho’s at the Stadium of Light last week. The half time whistle blew and Spurs’ dominance wasn’t reflected in the scoreline.
It didn’t take AVB’s side long to get back into the scoring habit however. The emergence of youngster Ryan Fredericks (replacing Danny Rose) was no surprise and the young man did very well for himself. His pace was phenomenal – as pointed out by ITV pundit Les Ferdinand – and he made some thrilling runs down the left. He was even involved in the buildup to Lewis Holtby’s goal – of which the German collected an aerial scoop from Townsend to take another touch and volley over the keeper into the net. Spurs led 3-1. There was little to see afterwards however as a Soldado flick to Naughton provided the only challenging run in a period of dominance from the home side. Christian Eriksen made a return as he came on for Mousa Dembélé and his impact saw Spurs claim a penalty. Fredericks made a run into the area only to be tripped before a cross could be made. The referee waved away claims however the sixth official overturned the decision to give Soldado a chance at a hatrick. He smashed home the ball into the bottom left corner to give himself his first ever hatrick for Tottenham Hotspur.
The game began to teeter out afterwards. Erik Lamela had a double chance at a goal with a header being tipped over and a driven effort pushed to safety. Anzhi had chances at the other end with Friedel forced to make an excellent double save showing he still has talent despite being the oldest in the competition. The full time whistle blew 4-1 to Spurs.
Friedel – “Gramps still got it.”
Naughton – “*waves goodbye to chances after Fredericks performance*”
Capoue – “Beeeeeeaaaaast.”
Fryers – “You know what, well played. Some top challenges.”
Rose/Fredericks: “Danny’s back, Ryan’s in attack.”
Dembélé – “The Moose was loose at the Lane.”
Holtby – “Is that Jurgen I see?”
Sigurdsson – “Set Soldado on his way.”
Lamela – “Hmm. No comment.”
Townsend – “Greeeeeeeeedy.”
Soldado – “Soldado woah, Soldado woahhhhhh!”
MOTM – Hatrick hero – Mr Robbie Soldado.