Roberto Soldado made it three goals in his first two Tottenham Hotspur games in a 5-0 win over Dinamo Tbilisi in a UEFA Europa League game at the Boris Paichadze National Stadium.
Andros Townsend scored the first and set up Paulinho to make it 2-0 before Soldado scored twice to make the win safe for Spurs.
Danny Rose also got a rare goal as the travelling fans went home victorious after an enjoyable win in Georgia.
Andre-Villas Boas put out a strong side to deal with the Tbilisi challenge, with Townsend making his first start of the season as part of a front three with Soldado and Gylfi Sigurdsson. The winger, who was at QPR on loan last season, made the perfect statement for his playing chances by striking Spurs in front after 12 minutes.
The goal came from a Tbilsi corner with Sigurdsson providing the heading clearance and Townsend scampering forward on a counter-attack. The Englishman came inside onto his left foot and let fly from 25 yards with a pierced shot that flew into the bottom corner, leaving the home goalkeeper, Giorgi Lomaia, with no chance.
The Premier League side were gifted an opportunity to double their lead five minutes later. A defensive mix-up between two Tbilisi defenders gave the ball to Soldado from a tight angle, but Lomaia did well to cover his near post and keep out the shot from Spurs’ summer signing from Valencia.
With Gareth Bale closer to the door at White Hart Lane, Tottenham are looking for a new set-piece specialist and Sigurdsson went close to staking his claim in the first half. Townsend was clipped on the edge of the box and the Icelandic international stepped up to curl the ball over the wall and drop it inches wide, with Lomaia stretching across with a despairing dive.
It was 2-0 to Tottenham just before half-time and Townsend had a huge hand in it again. Kyle Naughton released the winger on the right wing with a nice pass and the 22-year-old turned his marker inside out before crossing for Paulinho to nod in his first goal for the club. It was a simple goal for the Brazilian but Townsend deserves a lot of credit for some stellar wing play.
Villas-Boas’ side continued in the second half in the same way that they finished the first as they added a third goal to the scoreline. Townsend was impressive again, leaving his marker in his dust with a burst of pace and finding Soldado with the pull-back and the Spanish international made it two goals in his first two Tottenham appearances with a tidy finish.
The away side’s fourth goal was a piece of quality and came from an unlikely source. Rose hasn’t scored for Tottenham since a debut screamer against Arsenal two years ago but showed fantastic composure when he came on to Nacer Chadli’s pass and bent the ball into the top corner from 30 yards. It was a fantastic finish and the icing on the cake for the travelling supporters.
Tbilisi’s defence fell apart and it started to become embarrassing for the Georgian champions when Soldado grabbed his second and Tottenham’s fifth in the 67th minute. Chadli found space on the left wing and put in a delightful low cross that was eagerly gobbled up at the back post by Soldado who tapped in minutes before being replaced by Harry Kane.
The England youth international nearly grabbed a sixth goal for Tottenham before full-time. Chadli did the good work again and delivered a superb inswinging cross, but Kane was unlucky to see his header bounce back off the post with the goalkeeper beaten. It didn’t matter though as the full-time whistle signalled a big win and a glorious couple of days for North London sides in Europe after Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Fenerbahce in the UEFA Champions League last night.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)