Match Report: Tottenham Hotspur 4 RZ Pellets WAC 0 (8-1 agg).
To be honest, this result was a foregone conclusion. In the first leg, I predicted 4-1 and 4-1 we got. This time around, I expected 5-1, and we managed 4-0. But what matters is that we won. This was always going to be a run-out for the fringe players, and they did well. Full marks. Now they must follow through on Sunday against Burnley. No easy match, but a game we must win.
Dele Alli scored a superb overhead kick for us as we went into the Europa League last 16 with an 8-1 aggregate win. We were already in control of the tie following a 4-1 first-leg victory, and in this game, we quickly asserted our authority at our own ground with Alli’s spectacular effort. Alli, who was at his creative best layed on two goals. Carlos Vinicius scored twice, either side of a Gareth Bale effort.
As I said in my previous blog, no team in Uefa Cup or Europa League history has ever overturned a three-goal deficit from the first leg at home to progress, and our opponents never threatened to do so. To be honest, we could have had more, with Vinicius coolly rounding their goalkeeper Manuel Kuttin before Gustav Henriksson cleared off the line. Vinicius did get his goal with a back-post header from Alli’s cross before Bale, who came on as a substitute, shot into the top corner from Alli’s through ball. Then Vinicius added his second and our fourth to complete the pasting after good work from 16-year-old Dane Scarlett.
As for Gareth Bal, well, he scored his third goal as a substitute in a European game, with the previous two coming in the 2018 Champions League final for Real Madrid.
As you no doubt know, a run of five defeats in six Premier League games has seen Mourinho job called into question, but he still has a chance to win two trophies this season. That is the Carabao Cup final and now the Europa League last 16. We were also able to rest Harry Kane, Son and Tanguy Ndombele for the game on Sunday.
He also left Bale on the bench until 22 minutes from time, I would imagine this was for the game on Sunday.
Alli has done his case a power of good with this excellent performance.
As for teenage substitute Scarlett, well, he made the fourth goal, winning the ball back in the area for Vinicius to convert his sixth Europa League goal this season.
The Europa League winners will earn a place in next season’s Champions League.
We have now progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign, when we were eliminated by Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund.
We are the ninth different team to score 100+ goals in the Europa League, with only Benfica (53) and Sevilla (55) reaching the landmark in fewer games (56).
Austrian sides have now lost 21 of their 22 trips to England in major European competition, with FK Austria Wien the only side to avoid defeat against Chelsea in a Cup Winners’ Cup encounter in October 1994.
Jose Mourinho has seen one of his teams score at least eight goals across a major European knockout tie for the first time since his Real Madrid days. The Spanish side beat Apoel Nicosia 8-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2011-12.
We are the first English side to score four or more goals in both legs of a European knockout tie since Newcastle United in the 1994-95 Uefa Cup first round against Royal Antwerp (5-0 first leg, 5-2 second leg).
Dele Alli had a direct hand in three goals for the first time in the same game since December 2017 against Southampton.
Carlos Vinicius has scored in each of his past four Europa League matches (six goals), the first Spurs player to net in four straight European appearances since Jermain Defoe in November 2013.
Vinicius is averaging a goal or assist every 66 minutes in all competitions for us this season (nine goals, three assists), the best rate among any player at the club to have played at least 90 minutes this season.
Aged 16 years and 337 days, Dane Scarlett is the first 16-year-old to assist a Europa League goal since Kylian Mbappe in December 2015 for Monaco against us.
What next for us?
On Sunday 28th February, at 2pm, we face Burnley in the Premier League. This game will be on our ground.
Until next time, stay safe and Up the Spurs!