Google+ PLANET FOOT 7: UEFA Europa League: Tottenham Hotspur 3 - Tromso 0.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

UEFA Europa League: Tottenham Hotspur 3 - Tromso 0.

Tottenham, as their former goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt observed on the pitch at half-time, may have sold Elvis - but they have bought the Beatles instead.

And as Jermain Defoe led Spurs on a routine plunder of desperately limited fodder last night, the England striker played with the hunger of a man eager to profit back to where he once belonged.

After flogging Gareth Bale and replacing him with a 110 million select and mix of talent, Defoe has been relegated to the fringes of Tottenham's makeover below Andre Villas-Boas.

All four of Defoe's goals this season have come in the Europa League - and although last night's pair took him to 20 goals in European competitions for Spurs, just two behind Martin Chivers' club record, they may not be enough to earn him a ticket to ride against Cardiff on Sunday

Defoe said: "Martin's a legend here, so to be up there with someone like that is good. I think the manager knows what I can do - it's a case of getting out there and working hard for the team. But there's a good spirit here - the new lads have come in and been smart.

"There is always going to be competition at a top club with top players, and when you receive an opportunity you have to take it."

There are no easy games in Europe - except Tromso at house.

Defoe's slick finishing, and a memorable bolt from the blue four minutes from time by Christian Eriksen - take your select whether he is John, Paul, George or Ringo - garnished an otherwise forgettable night at White Hart Lane.

AVB appreciated Thorstvedt's "very creative" line in pop history, but he offered Defoe no short cuts back to the front line.

The Spurs manager said: "At the moment we are playing with one striker and a No.10. We've scored 15 goals in seven games and conceded one, which are fine numbers, so we haven't yet seen a reason to change - but JD is doing well and there is not one negative thing I can say about his performances."

Tromso were followed by a sizeable band of Nordic explorers, who were suitably impressed with the crisp, tidy air of stagnant north London traffic jams - a far cry from the glacial pollution of their homeland 217 miles inside the Arctic circle.

But Defoe had already drilled one yawning chance against Tromso keeper Marcus Sahlman's legs when they were pining for the Fjords after 21 minutes, the England striker supplying a deft finish from Erik Lamela's exquisite first-time pass.

And before the half-hour had elapsed, Spurs had the scent of a rout in their nostrils as Defoe, with the routine air of a snooker champion potting the black, slipped his second into the side pocket from Lewis Holtby's perceptive assist.

The mismatch was petering out until Eriksen launched his missile into the top corner, but by then Tromso were longing for the ice age of home.

Once on a blizzard, they beat Chelsea 3-2 in the Cup Winners Cup 16 years ago before they shipped seven in the return at Stamford Bridge.

But even if Father Christmas himself popped over the border from Lapland to offer his assistance, you would not give them a prayer of progressing beyond the group phase this year.

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