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Sunday 17 November 2019

Five-star rating for Spurs with a blitz of Belgrade

Tottenham Hotspur 5 Red Star Belgrade 0

Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela, Harry Kane, Davinson Sanchez and Paulo Gazzaniga celebrate at full-time. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela, Harry Kane, Davinson Sanchez and Paulo Gazzaniga celebrate at full-time. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Tottenham gave their season a much-needed shot in the arm with a 5-0 demolition of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

It has been a horrible start to the campaign for Mauricio Pochettino's men, who had only won three games before this, but they put all their problems behind them in a pulsating display in Group B.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both scored twice while Erik Lamela had a red letter day on his 200th appearance for the club, adding a second-half goal to his two assists.

Pochettino, who has admitted his job could be on the line if their slump continues, will hope this can be the start of a resurgence, though that will be put to the immediate test in their next game when they visit Liverpool in the Premier League.

It has to be said that Red Star, who somehow were supported by over 200 fans despite a ban by UEFA, were not up to much, but Spurs were simply too hot to handle and produced a result that went some way to righting the wrongs of that 7-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich last time out.

Importance

It also had importance in their ambitions of making it out of the group as they now move into second place and will fancy their chances of progressing.

The obituaries for this Spurs team have already been written, but they reproduced the form of seasons gone, helped by an electric start.

And if there was going to be one man who was going to set the tone, then Kane was the likeliest bet and true enough the skipper came to the fore.

Having already shown intent with an early mazy run into the box, he gave his side the perfect start with a ninth-minute opener.

He got in front of his marker to head home Lamela's corner for his 17th Champions League goal in just his 22nd game.

Son Heung-min slots home Tottenham's third goal of the night. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Son Heung-min slots home Tottenham's third goal of the night. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

It was the perfect tonic for Spurs and it was even better seven minutes later as they went 2-0 up as Serge Aurier and Lamela combined down the right, with the latter's cross perfect for Son to ram home a half-volley at the far post.

Spurs could have racked up several more in the opening half-hour as Tanguy Ndombele and Lamela brought fine saves out of Milan Borjan.

In the end, they had to wait until the 44th minute to grab a third and Son was the man again, though he had Ndombele to thank. The record signing robbed Marko Marin near the halfway line and played in the South Korean, who coolly slotted home.

There was a goal glut for Spurs if they wanted as they cut the Serbians open at will and Lamela was guilty of missing two golden chances after Kane and Son laid it on a plate for him.

The Argentinian was not going to be denied a goal on his special night, though, and eventually got on the score sheet in the 57th minute when he fired home on the turn after a move that included another wonderful Kane pass.

Son could have had a hat-trick but his shot clipped the outside of a post, while Kane was unusually wasteful when he could not connect with a header in front of goal.

Erik Lamela (centre on floor) scores Tottenham's fourth goal during his 200th appearance for the club. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Erik Lamela (centre on floor) scores Tottenham's fourth goal during his 200th appearance for the club. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

The captain had put in a virtuoso display, though, and was not going to miss another chance as he grabbed a second of the night and 18th in the competition.

Outcome

Ndombele played him in and there was no doubt about the outcome as he passed the ball into the far corner.

There was an added boost of deadline day signing Giovani Lo Celso returning for the first time in seven weeks after an injury lay-off, but that was just one of many positives for Spurs.

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