Spurs cruise to opening Europa League victory
Strikes from Lucas Moura and Heung-Min, along with an own-goal, earn Tottenham a comfortable 3-0 win over Austrian side LASK
23 October, 2020 — By Dan Carrier at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Europa League: Group J
SPURS 3 (Moura 18, Andrade 27 OG, Son 84)
SPURS cruised past Austrian side LASK in their opening Europa League group game – and the task gave manager Jose Mourinho the chance to show the strength of his squad as he made eight changes to the team that drew 3-3 with West Ham on Sunday.
Tottenham set-up with Gareth Bale advanced on the right, new boy Carlos Vinicius up front, and Erik Lamela playing the Number 10 role.
With Japhet Tanganga, Eric Dier and Joe Rodon unavailable, Ben Davies was drafted in as a centre-back and made captain for the night – a role he revelled in.
LASK knocked out Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon in the previous round and were on a run of four wins out of five, but such form was blitzed by a Spurs side full of players keen to make an impression and stake a claim for a regular starting berth.
After the game, Mourinho heaped praise on debutante Vinicius, a deadline day signing from Benfica. He said: “The only thing that was missing was a goal. He’s a good target man and can even play with Harry Kane rather than just be the guy to cover him.”
This was only the visitors second ever game in England, having played Manchester United in the Europa League back in March – when they were stuffed 7-1 on aggregate. Their return to these shores was another difficult experience.
Spurs took the lead on 18 minutes when good work down the left by Vinicius saw him make space, control a pass and square the ball for Lucas Moura. The Brazilian side-footed carefully home.
It was soon 2-0 after another flowing move from the hosts, which saw Sergio Reguilon go past three opponents before playing an intelligent ball square to Lamela. He in turn found Bale, whose cross for Vinicius was turned into his own net by LASK defender Andres Andrade.
Spurs were happy not to stretch themselves too much and with the two-goal cushion were cruising. They hit a third in the 84th-minute when Vinicius nodded the ball into Heung-Min Son’s path and he slotted home with ease.
Mourinho made the point before the match that he has competed in the Europa League twice in his career – and won the tournament both times. On tonight’s showing, you wouldn’t bet against another run to the final.
Spurs: Hart, Doherty, Sanchez, Davies, Reguilon, Hojbjerg (Sissoko, 62), Winks, Lamela (Alli, 62), Bale (Son, 62), Moura (Lo Celso, 78), Vinicius (Clarke, 86)
Substitutes not used: Lloris, Austin, Aurier, Alderweireld, Ndombele, Bergwijn, Kane
LASK: Schalger, Wiesinger, Trauner, Andrade (Potzmann, 45), Ranftl, Holland (Grgic, 5), Michorl, Renner (Filipovic, 39), Gruber (Eggestein, 45), Raguz, Balic (Goiginger, 78)
Substitutes not used: Ramsebner, Madsen, Cheberko, Lawal, Gebauer