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UEFA Europa League
November 28, 2013
• Alfheim Stadion, Tromsø
Referee: E. Aranovskiy
• Attendance: 5868
A. Causevic 63' (own goal)
M. Dembélé 75'
That's all we have time for from Norway, as Tottenham ran out comfortable winners in the cold against Tromso, courtesy of goals from Chiriches and Dembele. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you again next time.
That wasn't a very encouraging performance from Villas-Boas' side, but they've got the job done in Norway with a game spare. Tromso looked to be a tough nut to crack for 50 minutes, but the gulf in quality between the two squads made the difference as players tired.
FULL TIME! Tottenham take top spot in Group K, after a comfortable 2-0 Europa League win over Tromso. A spirited first half performance from the hosts looked to worry the Premier League outfit, but eventual quality shone through for the away side.
90' + 2'
NORBYE! The home supporters scream for a penalty, as Norbye looked to move beyond a challenge from Michael Dawson. The England international certainly impeded the substitute somewhat, but the referee wasn't interested at all!
90' + 1'
ONDRASEK! The Czech striker is unfortunate to see a good effort deflected narrowly wide for Tromso, with the resulting corner failing to test Friedel.
Yellow Card Jaroslaw Fojut
A wasted opportunity by Spurs! Dembele goes down holding his ankle, but the visitors continue, with Holtby and Townsend failing to accurately link-up. Tromso break, with Ondrasek seemingly determined to score, but the attack peters out.
Ondresek looks to get in behind the Spurs defensive line, but Friedel is quick off his line to claim the bouncing long ball. That's certainly something that Lloris can do far better for Spurs, but Villas-Boas opted to rest the Frenchman for tonight's game.
Five minutes left, and Spurs' supporters are urging them over the finish line with continuous chants. The home fans resiliently stay in their seats, despite this season certainly being one to forget. Tromso can certainly take some positives out of their performance tonight, at least.
The pressing is far less urgent from Tromso, and this game is fizzling out somewhat. Since Dembele moved upfield to act as the supply line between Soldado and the midfield, Spurs have looked immeasurably better.
Great turn by Naughton! The right-back finds himself on the edge of Tromso's penalty area, and turns smartly, before looking to stab Holtby through on goal with an intricate through ball. Unfortunately for Spurs, it's cut out.
Just over ten minutes left to play, and Spurs' fans are in good voice here in Norway. After a long period of uncertainty, the Premier League side are much more relaxed now, with their substitutes adding a little more vibrancy and pace into their offensive link-up play.
DEMBELE! How hasn't he scored there! It's a wonderful first effort from the Belgian, but it clips off the inside of the post, before he puts the rebound wide of the net! So close to putting the game completely beyond doubt.
Goal Mousa Dembele
Assist Gylfi Sigurdsson
GOOOOAL! DEMBELE NETS! It's his first goal of the season for Spurs, and they've doubled their lead, surely handing them top spot in their group! The Belgian finishes clinically after a loose ball bobbles into his path on the edge of the area.
Norbye goes on a marauding run down the right hand side, but losing control of the ball after a couple of over-enthusiastic step-overs - much to the amusement of one rather loud fan. Spurs continue to dominate possession, and it seems that Tromso are willing to accept their fate.
Both managers take the opportunity to make a few changes, with Spurs opting to shuffle things around a little bit. For Tromso, Nilsen throws on a player with big things expected of him, as Espejord's father was the first Tromso cup-winning captain.
Fantastic challenge by Causevic! The Norwegian defender slides in to divert a Townsend cross away from Soldado, who fails to get on the end of a cross yet again! Well read by the centre-half.
William Johan Frantzen
Just under half an hour to play, and it seems to be that Spurs will be heading into the knockout stages of the competition as group leader. This will of course lead to a kinder draw and home advantage, two big factors in Villas-Boas' side navigating through the Europa League.
Well claimed by Lekstrom! The Swede rises excellently to take the ball off the head of Dawson, who has a long run back to his own half now! Spurs are getting on top in the wake of their opening goal, and a second would surely kill things off.
TOWNSEND! The England international fires the ball across the face of goal, with Lekstrom fearful to try and claim it! Soldado complains that he wanted the ball cut back once again, but the Spaniard could probably have bust a gut to nip in at the back post.
Own Goal Adnane Cusovic
The hosts are happy to allow Spurs to retain possession, but only in their own half. It seems to be that a moment of inspiration is required for Spurs to break the deadlock, as Tromso are remaining resilient.
Tromso continue to keep their shape in two banks of four, and Spurs aren't showing any signs of finding the killer blow. This is a strong line-up from Villas-Boas, but Nilsen's men have been able to deal with everything their Premier League opponents have had to throw at them.
Good punch from Lekstrom! The Swedish goalkeeper command his area efficiently, punching the ball off the head of a Spurs player from eight yards out. Spurs continue to act in a rather undisciplined manner, with Capoue on his very last warning.
FOJUT! Friedel is forced into his second save in as many minutes, as the Tromso centre-half rises well to divert Drage's free-kick towards goal! Again, Friedel gobbles it up with ease.
Yellow Card Roberto Soldado
BENDIKSEN! The Tromso captain forces Friedel into his first save of the evening, blasting a free-kick effort directly at the American goalkeeper. Spurs are losing their heads here, they're making cynical fouls and seem incredibly frustrated.
Yellow Card Etienne Capoue
SIGURDSSON! Spurs have the ball in the back of the net, but the referee had already blown his whistle! Soldado looked to handle the ball unintentionally before squaring a delivery for Sigurdsson to tuck home. Unfortunate for the visitors.
FOJUT! Dawson does excellently to beat the imposing Polish defender to the corner delivery, as the Tromso central defender looked to be bearing down on goal at the back post. Friedel still awaits his first save of the match.
Yellow Card Michael Dawson
Dawson cynically fouls Ondrasek as the Czech striker bears down on goal, stopping the Tromso attack in its tracks. The home crowd boo and jeer, but Dawson won't mind, as he's defused a dangerous situation there for a price of a yellow card.
Tottenham are beginning to get into their stride after that early scare, stroking the ball from left to right with confidence. There's no real sense of urgency, though, with Fryers and Naughton continuing to stay fixed in their defensive position. If Rose and Walker were available, the impetus would probably be different.
Tromso start the second half in the same manner as they did in the first, flying out of the blocks and keen to get the ball forward as quickly as possible. A deep cross from Frantzen is turned behind by Dawson for a corner, under no real pressure.
We're back underway in the second half! Tromso will hope to have their last home game end on a high with a result against Spurs, who need a win here tonight to top their group to hand Villas-Boas' side the best scenario heading into the next round of the competition.
Chelsea fell foul of snowy conditions in Norway back in the 90's, losing 3-2 against Tromso, and Spurs will hope to not replicate their London rivals' exploits here this evening. A competitive first half, but Spurs have only managed to test Lekstrom on one occasion, with Friedel not being called into action to make a save whatsoever.
HALF TIME! Spurs head into the warmth following a first half stalemate, as a disciplined Tromso performance has seen the first 45 minutes end without any goals. The hosts have had a few chances, but Spurs have spurned the two best opportunities, with Chadli and Sigurdsson firing narrowly wide from good positions.
The half time break is fast approaching, and it seems unlikely that Spurs will head into the dressing room with a goal under their belts. Tromso have faded somewhat in the last 15 minutes, but can generally be proud of their efforts.
Wonderful skill from Soldado! A clever Cruyff turn sees the Spain international beat his marker with aplomb, before his cross to Sigurdsson is cut out. He's been flitting in and out of this game, but that was an example of genuine quality.
Good clearance from Fojut! From almost under his own crossbar, the Polish centre-back hooks away what was a great delivery to the back post. Another case of close but no reward for Spurs.
Soldado is beginning to get frustrated, as the service from his teammates just hasn't materialised yet again. Townsend has the opportunity to whip the ball into the box from the left, but instead opts to continue dribbling, causing an angry reaction from the former Valencia striker.
CHADLI! What an awful effort from the Belgian! The former FC Twente midfielder is released by Sigurdsson, and looks to at least test Lekstrom from 18 yards out, but instead spurns the opportunity. High and wide!
Under ten minutes until the half time break, and Spurs are yet to carve apart a resolute Tromso outfit. Nilsen has his team well organised, and the hosts have arguably had the better of the game. It's only been in the last ten minutes that Spurs have built up any kind of sustained pressure.
Sigurdsson works his way to the byline, and looks to cut the ball across the six yard box in search of Soldado. Three Tromso defenders are present to make things difficult for the Spaniard, and Causevic clears.
SIGURDSSON! The Spurs midfield tests Lekstrom with a flick at the back post, after a great ball from the right hand side from Townsend. The two keep switching flanks, and it seems that Townsend moving out to the right will prevent Kristiansen from pushing forward as much.
Great defending from Andersen! The right-sided player tracks back well to divert a cross away from the head of Soldado, who was lurking at the back post. Tottenham swing in the corner, but Fojut heads it clear of danger with ease.
Good defending from Capoue! The defensive midfielder does excellently to cut out a Kristiansen cross, after the left-back was released well by Drage. Tromso's left-back is really having some influence in this first half.
Tottenham continue to be frustrated, and Andre Villas-Boas' side haven't had things their own way in the opening half an hour. Sigurdsson and Townsend have looked most likely to make something happen for the Premier League side, but Tromso have looked similarly potent on the attack.
ONDRASEK! The Czech striker rises well at the back post, but Drage's ball into the area is too high for his teammate. Tromso continue to compete with a strong Spurs outfit, and I think that their supporters will be pleasantly surprised with their resistance thus far.
TOWNSEND! The England international tries his luck from 25 yards out, and the ball skids off the artificial surface to really trouble Lekstrom. The Tromso goalkeeper is just about equal to it, getting down to his left well.
The hosts' continue to move the ball with pace and purpose, and Tottenham are chasing shadows in midfield at times. Kristiansen is constantly looking to get forward, with neither Naughton nor Fryers mimicking the Tromso left-back. Spurs haven't got a grip of this game yet.
Almost a half chance for Moldskred, but a poor ball from Kristiansen lets down his teammate! Tromso continue to break with confidence, with all of their midfield showing glimpses of quality to make some incisive passes.
SOLDADO! Chadli stands the ball up to the back post, but the Belgian's cross is slightly too high for his teammate! The loose ball falls to Townsend, who eventually shoots, provoking a great block from Causevic.
SIGURDSSON! Very close for Spurs! The former Swansea midfielder finds himself in a pocket of space inside the penalty area, but drags his shot inches wide of the far post! Unfortunate for the Iceland international.
A lovely flick around the corner by Moldskred provokes applause from the home fans, as Tromso move the ball quickly from defence into Spurs' half once again. They've looked fairly slick thus far.
SIGURDSSON! The Icelandic international blasts high and wide following a good passage of play from Spurs, much to the amusement of the home supporters. Lekstrom's first duty is to fetch the ball from behind his net.
Half chance from a corner for Capoue! The Frenchman steams in at the back post after losing his marker, but can't stretch enough to get on the end of the delivery and it flashes across the face of goal. That's the first time that Spurs have really threatened.
Good tackle from Naughton! Ondrasek ghosts along the line of the penalty area once again, but the Englishman steps in well to clear the ball up the line. Ondrasek has been everywhere for Tromso in the opening quarter of an hour.
You certainly wouldn't guess that Tottenham are playing a side who have been relegated this season, with Tromso looking rather solid in the early stages. Lekstrom has remained untroubled, with Kristiansen and Fojut making challenges to deny the likes of Soldado and Chadli.
Tottenham aren't really getting going offensively, with their defence seeing the lion's share of the ball. Soldado is finally given the ball, and looks to make a run in behind Fojut, but the central defender stands tall and clears the ball into touch.
After an initial scare, Spurs are settling into the game, starting to stroke the ball around with confidence. Soldado is yet to get any service, which has been the story of the Spaniard's season, and Tottenham are yet to test Lekstrom in the Tromso net.
The ball is being impeded slightly by the surface water on the left hand side of the field, preventing Townsend from going on his trademark jinking runs. The Spurs' half is in good condition, but the hosts' is hampering the run of the ball a little.
A good start to the game from the hosts, as the likes of Bendiksen and Johansen have already seen plenty of the ball, with Kristiansen permitted to push forward from full-back. They look confident, and ready to end their last home game of the season on a high.
ONDRASEK! Another opportunity for Tromso! Excellent build up play from the home side allowing for Moldskred to carry the ball in between the lines, before feeding his strike partner! A good challenge from Chiriches dispossesses the Czech forward as he looks to shoot.
Good defending from Kristiansen! The left-back covers across well to clear the danger, after a good cut-back from Townsend looks to feed Soldado! Well read by the Norwegian.
ONDRASEK! What a chance for Tromso! The Czech striker is slipped in behind Dawson excellently, but the forward can only fire the ball narrowly wide of the post! Great start from the home side.
We are underway in the first half! If Spurs win here, they'll top their Europa League group, but the home side are on a mission to protect their pride. After a generally poor season, Tromso have a point to prove in front of their disappointed supporters!
The teams are emerging from the tunnel, to take to Tromso's artificial pitch, which is actually the reason why Jermain Defoe isn't in today's matchday squad. The England international has a history of struggling through injury on artificial surfaces, and thus Tottenham travelled to Norway without him. Chilly conditions and a little bit of snow to match, with the home fans presumably adding to the frosty reception.
As some background information, Tromso have been relegated from the Tippeligaen this season, resulting in their previous manager Agnar Christensen being sacked in October. Steinar Nilsen is the caretaker manager for the hosts, and is somewhat popular due to his previous spells at the club as a player.
Tromso have registered the fewest shots on target in the group stages of the Europa League, averaging merely one shot at goal per match. The Norwegian side will have to do much better offensively to trouble Spurs, though the visitors have got a shuffled defensive line for tonight's fixture.
Spurs substitutes: Vertonghen, Holtby, Lamela, Coulthirst, Archer, Fredericks.
Spurs starting line-up: Friedel; Naughton, Dawson, Chiriches, Fryers; Dembele, Capoue; Chadli, Sigurdsson, Townsend; Soldado.
Tromso substitutes: Norbye, L. Johnsen, M. Johnsen, Antonsen, Helmke, Espejord, Bakkelund.
Tromso starting line-up: Lekstrom; Frantzen, Fojut, Causevic, Kristiansen; Andersen, Johansen, Bendiksen, Drage; Ondrasek, Moldskred.
TEAM NEWS: Plenty of rotation from Spurs' Portuguese coach, as the likes of Fryers, Naughton, Chadli and Friedel come into the side, though Roberto Soldado continues to lead the lead going forward. Key faces are clearly being rested by Tottenham, given that their passage from the group is already guaranteed.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be leading you through all of the action in Norway, as Tromso look to protect their honour following a poor season. Their league form has been terrible, seeing them drop from the Tippeligaen after finishing second from bottom, and the Europa League will hopefully be a way for Steinar Nilsen's side to appease their disappointed fans.
Hello and welcome to live Europa League coverage as Tottenham travel to Scandinavia, to face Norwegian top-flight side Tromso. Should Spurs win, they will take first place in their group, handing them a favourable draw for the next round of the competition. In the reverse fixture, the English side enjoyed a comprehensive 3-0 win, and Andre Villas-Boas will hope for more of the same tonight.
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