Tottenham Hotspur 3 Tromso 0 match report: Injuries mar perfect night for Spurs

 

White Hart Lane

There was some hope at Tottenham Hotspur tonight that they would not pay too much of a price for their comfortable Europa League 3-0 win over Tromso.

At the final whistle, Spurs might not have been too thrilled with their haul of three points but three apparent injuries, as Mousa Dembele was stretchered off, Danny Rose went off in the first half and Younes Kaboul failed to complete the 90 minutes.

Spurs have a hectic schedule ahead - Cardiff City away on Sunday, Aston Villa away on Tuesday and then Chelsea back here on Saturday lunch time. Playing in the Europa League is a test of endurance and resources and without those three, their month would only get harder.

But Andre Villas-Boas confirmed afterwards that Rose's was the only injury worth worrying about. “We have to be a little bit more careful with Danny,” he said. “We hope it is not serious. We have to give him one night to see the reaction of his ankle. He is in doubt for Sunday but he should be OK.”

There was better news elsewhere. Dembele, who was visibly in pain when he was kicked by Lars Johnsen, was “now steady”, while Kaboul - making just his third start of the season -felt understandable tightness in his adductor muscle and came off only at 3-0 as a precaution.

That late good news made this almost a worry-free night for Tottenham. The match itself went almost precisely to plan, as they strolled past their very limited visitors. In a brisk first half, Spurs were never not on the front foot, playing high up the pitch, pressing Tromso into mistakes and moving the ball quickly enough to make chances - two of which Jermain Defoe took.

“It was a very, very good performance,” Villas-Boas said afterwards. “We kept the ball well and created lots of attacking chances. The second half wasn't as good as the first but overall it was a good win and a good performance.”

It was certainly made easier, though, by the fact that Tromso looked like they had never seen Defoe play before. Three times in the first half he darted behind their defence onto a through ball. The first time - when after 14 minutes he took Holtby's pass but shot at Marcus Sahlman - was their warning, but they did not take it.

The opening goal was not a desperate surprise, then, six minutes later. Holtby squared the ball to Lamela, in from the wing, and with a delightful first-touch pass he redirected the ball to Defoe, running behind Jaroslaw Fojut. This time he lifted the ball over Sahlman and in.

Again, 10 minutes later, Defoe scored his second. Sigurdsson won it, gave it to Holtby who paused, saw Defoe darting behind Miika Koppinen and played him through. Defoe, who lives for chances like this, found the bottom corner.

Defoe is an expert at that sort of situation in this sort of game, and Villas-Boas admitted that he was in a “difficult position” for Sunday. He tends to prefer 4-2-3-1 and he tends to prefer Roberto Soldado, but what more could Defoe do?

Spurs rather slowed in the second half - with Sandro, Lamela and Holtby all starting to tire. It was not until Christian Eriksen replaced Dembele that they started to move again.

The little Dane - the most exciting of Spurs' summer signings - almost immediately set up Sandro, chipping the ball onto his run, but for the Brazilian to head straight at the keeper. But he continued to show, pass and move until he saw his opportunity for the third: dipping the ball into the far top corner of the net from 20 yards out with four minutes left.

“It was a very good goal, really well taken,” said Villas-Boas. “He really helped us keep possession and he also has that finishing touch.”

It was an impressive evening or Eriksen, Lamela and others but as Villas-Boas is keenly aware, there are gathering challenges ahead.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose (Vertonghen, 39); Dembélé (Eriksen, 64), Paulinho; Lamela, Holtby (Paulinho, 71), Sigurdsson; Defoe. Substitutes not used Friedel, Townsend, Soldado, Kane.

Tromso (4-2-3-1): Sahlman; Causevic, Koppinen (Antonsen, 61), Fojut, Kristiansen; Johansen, Bendiksen (Johnsen, 45); Moldskred, Pritchard, Drage (Andersen, 78); Ondrasek. Substitutes not used Lekstrom, Nystrom, Frantzen, Helmke.

Referee Livor Kovarik (Czech Republic).

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?