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Spurs ease through in Europa League

Friday 26th February , 2016 7:23 am
Ryan Mason's goal was his second of the season after finding the net against Sunderland in the Premier League (Image credit: EPA)
Ryan Mason's goal was his second of the season after finding the net against Sunderland in the Premier League (Image credit: EPA)

Tottenham dispatched Fiorentina to reach the Europa League last 16 and underline their credentials as serious contenders for the tournament.

Hosts Spurs took the lead as Ryan Mason strode through and side-footed home midway through the first half.

The Italians rallied briefly after the break, but Erik Lamela snuffed out any hope of a fightback as he smashed in from close range.

An own goal from skipper Gonzalo Rodriguez completed the Viola’s misery.

No Kane? No problem

Tottenham’s Harry Kane is expected to return to the Tottenham line-up for Sunday’s Premier League match against Swansea after breaking his nose in the FA Cup defeat by Crystal Palace last weekend.

But the England forward’s absence gave an insight into how Spurs, who lack a clear striking alternative, might cope without their top-scorer.

Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Lamela took it in turns to form the focal point of the attack and Fiorentina’s defence struggled to keep up with a constant carousel of changing positions and personnel.

Alli nipped ahead of Davide Astori to play in Mason for the first goal before the sheer weight of Tottenham numbers in the visitors’ box paid off as Lamela blasted home on the rebound from Nacer Chadli’s effort.

Harry Kane tweet

Kane was supporting his team-mates on social media

Champions League, one way or another

Two points off the top of the Premier League, securing Champions League qualification with a top-four finish is fast becoming the minimum Spurs fans expect from their domestic campaign.

However, with their season reduced to two fronts by the weekend’s home loss to Palace, Tottenham may well fancy their chances of securing their first European silverware since 1984’s Uefa Cup win and a direct ticket to next season’s Champions League.

With no seeding or separation of teams from the same country in the last 16, Spurs could be drawn against Liverpool, Manchester United or the likes of Spain’s Valencia, Borussia Dortmund of Germany or Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the next round.

They need not fear any of them though after an enterprising performance undid a Fiorentina side just six points off the top of Serie A.

Alli oops

Whoever the opposition, Tottenham will be without Alli for the first leg of the next round.

The 19-year-old, who was warned about his conduct by boss Mauricio Pochettino after apparently aiming a kick at a Fiorentina player in the first leg, picked up a harsh booking for diving late on.

It did not deter the White Hart Lane crowd from giving the England midfielder a standing ovation when he was replaced after another mature and influential display.

Man of the match – Dele Alli

Dele Alli

Alli kept his composure despite the close attentions of the Fiorentina defence and was a constant threat

Match reaction

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino: “I’m very pleased, we showed character and played very well against a team that play very well.

“We fully deserve the result, I’m very pleased with the performance.

“Now we need to recover because the competition never stops and we need to be ready for the next game against Swansea on Sunday.

“I think we have a big motivation in the Premier League and now we have two competitions. We are in a good position in the table, I think the motivation is fantastic.”

What’s next?

Tottenham host Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday before London derbies away to West Ham and at home to Arsenal.

 

 

Source: BBC

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