Thursday's Europa League game featured a whole lot of nothing from Tottenham Hotspur and Anzhi Makhachkala, but Spurs came away from Russia from three points, so no one's going to catch their supporters complaining. A comfortable, but generally uninspiring first half gave way to two late goals before the break, then a dull second half in a 2-0 Spurs win.
Jermain Defoe scored yet another goal in this one, putting Spurs on top in the 34th minute. Lewis Holtby provided the assist with a gorgeous through ball and Defoe finished, placing an impressive shot into the roof of the net. Six minutes later, Holtby sent a ball down the right flank for Kyle Walker, who cut it back towards the center of the box. Nacer Chadli was perfectly positioned and passed the ball into the back of the net.
And ... well, that's about all that happened in this one. Younes Kaboul came off with an injury in the 71st minute, though his substitution looked more precautionary than anything. Anzhi looked a bit threatening on the break in the second half, particularly through Lacina Traore, but nothing came of their ventures forward.
- We really coasted after halftime. It was pretty obvious that Anzhi didn't have much for us and we looked like we couldn't be arsed to lay a beatdown on them. Probably because it was really cold and we weren't in front of our home fans.
- Oh man, poor Younes. He picks up a knock every time he plays. I'm beginning to wonder if he'll ever be fully fit.
- Lewis Holtby is such a boss. I want to see him in a real game against a real opponent. I'm starting to wonder whether he's better than Christian Eriksen. I have similar thoughts on Soldado/Defoe, but that's more about form, and perhaps motivation. I know average Soldado >>> average Defoe.
- Sandro is almost back. He still had a couple of sloppy giveaways, but he's getting there.
- Know how I said it looked like no one could be arsed in the second half? That's how Erik Lamela looked for the entire game. I'm not saying he's lazy or didn't want to be there, but it sure as hell looked like it. Maybe he was just crap. I know he'll come good, but this was annoying.
- Nacer Chadli is really good and isn't going to be totally displaced by Lamela and Andros Townsend. He has a place.
- Zeki Fryers was rock solid. He's a good backup left back. I think he should play over Kyle Naughton when Danny Rose isn't fit.