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Spurs celebrated qualification for the Europa League knockout stages as group winners with a 2-0 win at Tromso, a helpful boost ahead of their meeting with Manchester United

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas praised his side's patience in their 2-0 Europa League win over Tromso on Thursday.

Spurs, already guaranteed their progress to the next round of the competition as Group K winners thanks to Anzhi Makhachkala's 1-1 draw with Sheriff Tiraspol, took all three points with an Adnan Causevic own goal and Mousa Dembele's strike.

It had looked as though the Norwegian side would hold out to frustrate Villas-Boas's men with some stubborn defending but the Portuguese was happy with the visitors' determination and persistence.

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"We played very well and it was important that we won in a comfortable way with a result that would put us through [in first place] and we did exactly that," he told the press. "We showed patience and finally managed to get in behind them."

The north Londoners went into game on the back of back-to-back Premier League defeats, the last of which was a 6-0 hammering at Manchester City, and Villas-Boas was delighted to return to winning ways ahead of Manchester United's visit to White Hart Lane on Sunday.

"We played well down the flanks, moved the ball well in midfield and created lots of good situations," he continued.

"I'm happy for the team and happy we bounced back in preparation for the match against United.

"It was important for us to get back to winning ways. We said that before the game when we were in London. We knew about the conditions, the snow and the artificial pitch and the players did well to get the result."

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