Tottenham Hotspur entered Thursday's Europa League match pretty poor standing, but they're very much in control of their own destiny after an impressive 5-1 win at home over previous group leaders Asteras Tripoli. Harry Kane and Erik Lamela were both at their best, with the former netting a hat trick and the latter scoring twice, with his first being the best goal of the season for Spurs -- and possibly in the Europa League, period.
Spurs vs. Asteras
Spurs vs. Asteras
But Kane's day didn't end on a particularly bright note. Hugo Lloris was shown a straight red card for denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity, and Kane was the field player selected to take over in goal. He committed a pretty terrible howler on the ensuing free kick, but we'll forgive him.
Kane fired Spurs ahead in the 13th minute, scoring from 20 yards. Asteras were packing men behind the ball and making it hard for Tottenham to play, so Kane decided to have a rather speculative rip from the right side of the box, and his low shot was perfectly placed to the far post.
He was upstaged by Lamela in the 29th minute, when the Argentine scored an absolutely ridiculous rabona goal. The ball fell to him at the top of the box and a simple right-footed curler would have resulted in a goal, but instead, Lamela decided to wrap his left foot around the back of his right leg and score a stunning rabona from 20 yards.
The second half dragged along for a while until Lamela netted his second, in the 66th minute. He was surrounded in the box and looked like he was dispossessed, but the ball bounced up perfectly for him, and he hit a perfect volley from 15 yards to add to Spurs' lead.
Kane's second came off a short corner in the 75th minute, indirectly assisted by Mousa Dembele. He shot off a short corner and no one was marking Kane, who pounced on the rebound and tapped in from close range. He completed his hat trick in the 82nd minute, heading in a cross by Federico Fazio.
But Spurs couldn't close out the game in eventless fashion. In the 86th minute, Lloris picked up his sending off for a terrible challenge on Anastasios Tsokanis, and Kane fumbled the free kick by Jerónimo Barrales, allowing the Greeks to get a consolation goal.