On Thanksgiving Day, Americans usually watch NFL, but it was a different kind of football on display on Thursday. Spurs hosted Bulgarian leaders Ludogorets at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and blasted past them 4-0 with a B-side. Carlos Vinicius scored a brace, and Tottenham added a 50-yard lob from Harry Winks and a late goal from Lucas Moura in a completely one-sided affair.
It was a rotated side for Jose Mourinho’s men, with ten changes from the side that won over Manchester City at the weekend — only Tanguy Ndombele retained his place. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the return of Dele, who makes his first appearance of any kind in over a month. Japhet Tanganga returned to Tottenham’s squad for his first start of the season after returning from a lengthy injury. Carlos Vinicius also started, allowing Harry Kane to rest up for Sunday’s match at Chelsea. Matt Doherty also returned to the starting lineup after exiting his COVID-19 related isolation. Joe Hart again started in goal.
6’ — Two quick free kicks for Gareth Bale outside of Ludogorets’ box in fast succession. The first is off the wall, the second well over the bar.
12’ — Another free kick for Bale. This one takes a deflection and loops up towards goal, but it hits the top of the netting and out for a corner.
14’ — Some decent work around the box for Tottenham results in a volleyed shot from Vinicius that goes wide of the left post.
16’ — GOAL! VENI, VIDI, VINICIUS! Carlos Vinicius is the recipient of a beautiful through ball from Dele that deflects slightly into his path, and he cooly slots it past the keeper. The Ludogorets defense was all over the place, but Spurs will take it. 1-0!
26’ — Harry Winks is feeling his oats. He has a pop from about 30 yards that has some wicked curl on it but goes just wide of the post.
32’ — Spurs’ fullbacks just has acres of space to work in. This time, Ben Davies gets on the end of the ball and plonks one off the outside of the post.
33’ — GOAL!!! IT’S VINICIUS, HIS SECOND! Tanguy Ndombele started it off with a driving run through midfield and a shot that was saved by Ludogorets’ keeper. Dele gets ahold of the rebound and squares it to Vinicius for an open goal tap-in. Fantastic. 2-0!
40’ — Ludogorets not only haven’t had a shot on goal, they’ve barely managed to get out of their own half.
42’ — Yellow card for Ludogorets’ Despodov for catching Davies in the face with an arm.
HALF-TIME! Boy, you’re not going to see much more one-sided halves of football than that. Spurs were just utterly dominant, and Ludogorets look atrocious.
45’ — Nearly a third for Vinicius! Bale gets a head on a cross from Lucas Moura, and Carlos couldn’t quite get a boot on the ball at the back post.
52’ — Yellow card on Tanguy for a suuuuuuper late challenge.
53’ — Dele with a long ball for Gareth Bale to run on to. He gets there and squares it for Vinicius, but Bale’s offside.
55’ — Ludogorets get their first ball into Spurs’ box on a free kick... which is well wide and bounces harmlessly out for a goal kick. Was that a shot? I don’t think that counts as a shot.
56’ — Chance for Spurs! Doherty with a run in side and heads it towards Bale, who can’t get it past the Ludogorets keeper. Gotta think Gareth should’ve done better.
61’ — First sub of the match for Spurs, as Pierre Hojbjerg comes on for Tanguy Ndombele, who was superb.
63’ — GOAL!! HARRY WINKS and what a hilariously spectacular goal! Winksy saw the Ludogorets keeper off his line and lobbed a 50 yarder that went in off the crossbar. Unreal. 3-0 to Tottenham.
67’ — Second sub for Spurs as Gareth Bale comes off for Jack Clarke!
73’ — GOAL! LUCAS MOURA! This time it’s Vinicius who’s setting up the goal. Dele again involved in the setup with a cross into the box for Vini, who side passes to a wide open Lucas for the easy goal. 4-0.
79’ — LOL Winksy is feeling it. Jack Clark finds him at the top of the D and he fires a curler that goes just over the bar.
81’ — Triple sub for Spurs, and it’s all academy players! Alfie Whiteman, Dane Scarlett, and Harvey White are on for Hart, Lucas, and Dele. What a match!
83’ — Oh man, Scarlett and White both nearly scored on their debuts! Scarlett got the ball in the box from close range but the keeper somehow managed to smother it. Just after, White had a pop from the top of the box. His shot had some mustard on it but went wide.
91’ — Another chance from Scarlett! Vinicius plays in the kid in the box but he scuffs his shot and it trickles across the face of goal and out. Gaaah. I wanted that for him.
- Hoo boy was this Ludogorets team bad.
- No, I mean they were awful. They didn’t manage a single shot in this match. Not on target, they didn’t have a single shot attempt at all and only got the ball inside Spurs’ box on a couple of plays, one of which was a free kick.
- Tanguy Ndombele was playing as a deep lying playmaker, his best position, and absolutely bossed the midfield for his entire shift.
- I was cracking jokes on Twitter about Ludogorets being so bad that Winksy was making forward passes, but credit due — he played well, capped by that ludicrous 50 yard lobbed goal. Slow-mo replay caught him pointing at himself and saying “I meant that.” (He didn’t really mean that.)
- Really enjoyed watching Dele today, who was bright and trying things. Two assists to Vinicius and looked like he was enjoying his football. And is that new ink on the back of his neck???
- Speaking of Carlos, he impressed the hell out of me today. Took his goals well and was also involved in setting up the fourth. He has good instincts. He should play in the league more often.
- Super impressed with the kids today. Clarke looked bright, Scarlett nearly scored twice, Whiteman did more in goal than Hart did, and White was doing some dope stuff in midfield. This was fun! We should play them more!
- Spurs are through to the next round with an away win over LASK, but they will also probably advance with a draw since they have a healthy goal differential. It’s all setting up for a dead-rubber against Antwerp on December 10.