Carlos Vinicius scored his first two Tottenham goals as Jose Mourinho’s side remained on course to reach the Europa League knockout stage with a comfortable victory against Ludogorets.
The Premier League leaders, tied on nine points at the top of Group J but second to Antwerp due to an inferior head-to-head record, can seal qualification with victory away to Austrian side LASK next Thursday.
Spurs repeated the dominance they displayed in the 3-1 win in Bulgaria three weeks ago as Brazilian Vinicius, on a season-long loan from Benfica, scored twice before half-time – his second arriving courtesy of Dele Alli’s selfless pass across goal.
Harry Winks added a third from 50 yards – although afterwards admitted he was trying to pass to Gareth Bale rather than shoot – as he caught out Ludogorets keeper Plamen Iliev midway through the second half, before Vinicius turned provider for Lucas Moura.
Only Tanguy Ndombele retained his starting place from Saturday’s victory over Manchester City, with Mourinho opting to rest key players before Sunday’s Premier League meeting with third-placed Chelsea.
It was a fifth straight win for Spurs, whose shock defeat by Antwerp – their opponents in the final group game – is their only defeat in 16 matches in all competitions.
Alli determined to prove point
Alli and Vinicius were two of four players substituted after 45 minutes in the defeat by Antwerp, but both impressed on this occasion – albeit against limited opposition.
Prior to Thursday’s match, Alli had twice been replaced at half-time in his three starts this season but the 24-year-old showed glimpses of his old self in an instrumental display.
Alli’s through-ball, intended for Bale, was deflected into the path of Vinicius for Spurs’ 16th-minute breakthrough. The England playmaker then nudged the ball into Vinicius’ path for the Brazilian striker’s second after following up Ndombele’s saved shot.
The former MK Dons player continued to work hard until his 81st-minute substitution, wrestling back possession before finding the lively Vinicius to set up Moura’s fourth.
It was a step in the right direction for Alli who, having been linked with a move away from Spurs over the summer transfer window, has cut a peripheral figure this term.
But with 10 games in 32 days to come for Spurs before the end of the year, this performance may persuade Mourinho he can rely on Alli for the challenges ahead.
More to follow.
- 12HartSubstituted forWhitemanat 82′minutes
- 6D Sánchez
- 28NdombeleBooked at 52minsSubstituted forHøjbjergat 61′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 9BaleSubstituted forClarkeat 68′minutes
- 20AlliSubstituted forWhiteat 82′minutes
- 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forScarlettat 82′minutes
- 45Alves Morais
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 11DespodovBooked at 43minsSubstituted forTekpeteyat 64′minutes
- 12AndrianantenainaSubstituted forOliveira Souzaat 68′minutes
- 25BadjiSubstituted forYordanovat 90′minutes
- 64YankovSubstituted forMitkovat 90′minutes
- 28KeseruBooked at 6minsSubstituted forTchibotaat 68′minutes
- 32Gonçalves Leal Sá
- 95Oliveira Souza
- Giorgi Kruashvili
Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 4, Ludogorets Razgrad 0.
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 4, Ludogorets Razgrad 0.
Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dimitar Mitkov (Ludogorets Razgrad).
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur).
Ivan Yordanov (Ludogorets Razgrad) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Ludogorets Razgrad. Dimitar Mitkov replaces Dominik Yankov.
Substitution, Ludogorets Razgrad. Ivan Yordanov replaces Stéphane Badji.
Attempt missed. Harvey White (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Dane Scarlett.
Attempt saved. Dane Scarlett (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Harry Winks with a through ball.
Corner, Ludogorets Razgrad. Conceded by Davinson Sánchez.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Dane Scarlett replaces Lucas Moura.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harvey White replaces Dele Alli.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Alfie Whiteman replaces Joe Hart.
Foul by Jack Clarke (Tottenham Hotspur).
Anton Nedyalkov (Ludogorets Razgrad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jack Clarke.
Foul by Carlos Vinicius (Tottenham Hotspur).
Cauly (Ludogorets Razgrad) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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