Defoe shoots Sheriff for Spurs record
TOTTENHAM striker Jermain Defoe may have broken a long-standing goalscoring record in their win over Sheriff Tiraspol but the night arguably belonged to a future White Hart Lane favourite.
Club-record signing Erik Lamela has struggled to settle at the club following his big-money summer move from Roma and even Andre Villas-Boas highlighted the fact some weeks ago with the Spurs boss pointing to language barriers and the form of Andros Townsend as contributing factors.
But the 21-year-old Lamela was the star of the show in the 2-1 win which secured qualification to the Europa League knockout phase.
Having opened the scoring on the hour, the former Roma winger was clipped in the area seven minutes later.
Defoe scored the resulting penalty to move clear of Martin Chivers at the top of Tottenham's all-time European goalscorer list, but it was Lamela who received standout praise from Villas-Boas.
"We were waiting for a good performance from him and I think we got it today," he said.
"We have been patient with him and he has delivered with a game in which he had no fear, took people on and created a lot.
"We saw some signs for what he can do for us and hopefully now he can progress."
Villas-Boas also paid homage to Defoe's achievements, with the England forward's spot-kick proving to be the difference following Ismail Isa's 72nd minute strike for Sheriff, and the manager hopes a fruitful Europa League campaign can add the gloss to his striker's feat.
"We are all particularly happy for him," he said.
"It is a great honour and will stay in time like Martin's and will be very difficult to break."