Tottenham Hotspur vs. Anzhi Makhachkala: Final score 4-1, things go according to plan in Europa League

Paul Gilham

Surprise! The worst team in Russia was no match for a Tottenham Hotspur B-plus team.

Tottenham Hotspur were into the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League as group winners a long time ago, but they still had another match to play against Anzhi. They closed out the group stage in style, winning 4-1 with a set of very pretty goals.

Spurs were ahead after just seven minutes from a free kick goal by Roberto Soldado. Andros Townsend drew a foul on the left side of the penalty area and left the free kick to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who found Soldado for a glancing header inside the six-yard box. Soldado found his second of the night nine minutes later, finishing from just inside 10 yards off a through ball by Erik Lamela.

Anzhi got a goal back threw Ewerthon off a corner just before halftime, but it ultimately didn't matter for the Russian side. Spurs would go on to score twice more.

Danny Rose, who made his first start in nearly three months, was taken off for Under-21 winger/fullback Ryan Fredricks at the halftime break. He would go on to play a part in Spurs' fourth goal, but the real highlight of the game was the goal before that one, scored by Lewis Holtby in the 54th minute.

Townsend -- who started the game on the left wing and switched to the right after the break -- set up the goal with a chip into the box for Holtby. The German playmaker picked the ball out of the air with his first touch, then flipped the ball over the goalkeeper with his second to extend the Tottenham lead.

Six minutes after Christian Eriksen was subbed on, making his return from a sprained ankle, Soldado completed a hat trick from the penalty spot. Fredericks drew the penalty, getting tripped by Jucilei on a surging run into the box, and Soldado converted to finish off his first hat trick in a Spurs shirt.

Notes:

- This game also saw Shaq Coulthirst make his pro debut. Yay Shaq!

- I know Anzhi sucks, but I can't help but feel that Lamela, Sigurdsson, Townsend; Soldado is a better front four than our current first choice front four.

- Can anyone tell me why Mousa Dembele played in this game? Is he really Paulinho's backup? This makes me really sad.

- Etienne Capoue is Tottenham's second best central defender and should partner Jan Vertonghen. I'm dead serious.

- I liked AVB experimenting in the second half.

- Don't buy too much into Holtby playing in the double pivot. Anzhi sucks.

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