Tottenham Hotspur are into the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League after yet another win, sinking FC Sheriff at home, 2-1. It was a much less convincing performance than Spurs' win away in Transnistria, perhaps because of some degree of complacency. Or maybe because everyone's unable to focus while valiant heroes Sandro and Hugo Lloris are injured.
The first half featured very little action and a lot of possession for Spurs. Sheriff hit the post early, putting a bit of a scare into Spurs, but didn't see much of the ball afterwards. Spurs' goal eventually came in the 60th minute, with Erik Lamela scoring his first goal for the club. He was gifted a bit of a lucky bounce off the back of a Sheriff defender, but made the most of it and finished well to the back post from 12 yards.
Lamela drew a penalty six minutes later and Jermain Defoe stepped up to convert, doubling Spurs' lead and becoming the club's all-time leading scorer in European competitions in the process. Sheriff pulled one back in the 72nd minute, with Ismail Isa cleaning up the garbage after Brad Friedel stopped a shot by Menes Cadu, but Spurs held on for the win despite Sheriff's best efforts.
- Yay Erik Lamela!
- But otherwise, YAWN.
- I still don't get why Zeki Fryers and Harry Kane didn't start this game.
- Etienne Capoue's comeback was great. He looked sharp. He'll be available to start real games in no time.
- Christian Eriksen was fine, but I don't think he's separated himself from Lewis Holtby.
- Mousa Dembele, meanwhile, is a lot better than Paulinho at the moment.
- 12 points. Yay!