Anzhi Makhachkala 0 Tottenham 2 match report: Jermain Defoe streak continues in Europa League, but Andre Villas-Boas is not for turning

Striker's goal moves him to within one of Martin Chivers’ club record of 24 goals in European competition, but Roberto Soldado expected to lead the line against West Ham on Sunday

Jermain Defoe could be forgiven for wondering what more he can do to force his way into Tottenham’s first-choice side. The England striker’s seventh goal in only his fourth start of the season set up a comfortable victory in Russia as Spurs moved closer to securing their progress past the group stage of the Europa League after just two matches.

The 30-year-old’s first-half strike saw him move to within one of Martin Chivers’ club record of 24 goals in European competition and certainly caught the attention of his manager Andre Villas-Boas. However, £26million summer signing Roberto Soldado is still expected to return to lead the line against West Ham on Sunday despite failing to find the net since his failure to find the net since his penalty against Swansea back on 25 August – a situation Villas-Boas acknowledged must be frustrating for Defoe.

“ We have to judge recovery and the fact that JD was involved today and Soldado wasn’t,” he said.

“Everything will come into consideration. We have been extremely happy with the performances of both. It is a question of deciding what is best for the team.

“It was another great goal, a great finish. It’s really good to see him out there again doing extremely well whenever he’s given the opportunity. He is a great professional, has a great attitude and now he’s only one off Martin Chivers so it’s a real great achievement for him.”

Tottenham’s victory was never really in doubt once Defoe was picked out by Lewis Holtby in the 34th minute and produced a trademark finish, with Belgian winger Nacer Chadli extending their lead five minutes later following a cross from Kyle Walker.

Currently bottom of the Russian Premier League and without a victory all season having sold several of their prized assets including Samuel Eto’o and Willian to Chelsea, Anzhi were a shadow of the side that defeated Liverpol in this competition last season but did cause the Tottenham defence a few problems after the break.

A draw in the group’s other match between Norwegians Tromso and FC Sheriff of Moldova effectively means Spurs can assure their place in the last 32 for the second successive season with another win in a fortnight’s time when they travel to eastern Europe. With Premier League trips to Everton and Manchester City to come next month, Villas-Boas will be hoping the Europa League can be put away until the New Year.

The only negative on the night was a knock sustained by Younès Kaboul, forcing him off 20 minutes from time. The French defender has been plagued with injuries for the best part of 18 months and suffered another setback in Russia, although his manager remains hopeful he will be available after the international break.

“It’s a bit of a problem because of his injury in the knee it has taken him time for his body to adapt to new positions on his run,” Villas-Boas said.

“Because of that he’s putting extra strain on his muscles and keeps getting small contractions that limit him finishing the games. At the moment it doesn’t look very serious but it will force him to stop for a week or so.

“When we get him back we will give him a one-week or two-week preparation to be physically better.”

For Defoe, the prospect of another week sitting on the bench with England when he is fully fit and in such excellent form must be deeply frustrating.

News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer was final surviving member of seminal punk band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Sport
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice