Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 LASK
Spurs made a comfortable start to their UEFA Europa League Group J campaign by seeing off a hardworking LASK side by three unanswered goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Jose Mourinho handed Gareth Bale his first start amidst a sea of changes from the side which had displayed any number of reasons against West Ham just why they can, and indeed can’t, win the Premier League, in bizzarly spectacular fashion.
Nevertheless, this was a challenge Spurs couldn’t take lightly – The Austrian outfit had impressively dispatched Sporting Lisbon by four goals to one in qualifying for the Group stages and had made a handy start to their domestic league programme.
Carlos Vinicius perhaps should have done better – nodding the wrong side of an upright after Matt Doherty had delivered, as Spurs, looking to replicate Sunday’s electric start, created the better of the opening opportunities.
And with their next meaningful foray forward, Spurs took the lead. Lucas Moura was handed the freedom of the LASK box to steady and fire right-footed beyond Alexander Schlager – Vinicius the creator – the home side bossing.
It was swiftly two. Sergio Reguilón and Erik Lamela combine to play in Bale – the Welshman’s low centre turned into his own net by the unfortunate Andrés Andrade from close range.
Schlager scrambled back to deny Lamela a third – Joe Hart had spent much of the opening half a spectator. However, the Spurs stopper was on his metal to keep out Andreas Gruber’s fizzing strike as LASK finally offered a threat of their own.
Lamela again went close, side-footing wide after fashioning an opening immediately after the restart. Meanwhile, Schlager raced from his goal to thwart Bale after Pierre-Emile Højbjerg had attempted to pick him out.
Another talking point was the appearance of Dele Alli. Frozen out in recent weeks – returning amidst a clutch of substitutions to replace Lamela.
Doherty nodded over, while a flag denied substitute Heung-Min Son a third after Lucas Moura thought he’d sprung the trap.
Schlager saved from Son following a sweeping move involving the busy Lucas Moura and Dele. Then the LASK keeper used his feet to hack clear after initially half-blocking another attempt from Dele.
But you sensed Spurs had another goal in them. Son neatly dispatching after Doherty and Vinicius had teed up the South Korean.
Tottenham Hotspur now turn their attention back to the Premier League when they take on Burnley at Turf Moor on Monday, October 26 (8pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Joe Hart, Matt Doherty, Davinson Sánchez, Ben Davies, Sergio Reguilón, Harry Winks, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Moussa Sissoko 62’), Lucas Moura (Giovani Lo Celso 79’), Gareth Bale (Heung-Min Son 62’), Erik Lamela (Dele Alli 62’), Carlos Vinicius (Jack Clarke 86’) Subs not used: Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Harry Kane, Steven Bergwijn, Serge Aurier, Tanguy Ndombele, Brandon Austin
Goals: Lucas Moura 18’, Andrés Andrade (own-goal) 27’, Heung-Min Son 84’
LASK: Alexander Schlager, Philipp Wiesinger, Gernot Trauner, Andres Andrade (Marvin Potzmann 46’), Reinhold Ranftl, James Holland (Lukas Grgic 5’), Peter Michorl, Rene Renner (Petar Filipovic 38’), Andreas Gruber (Johannes Eggestein 46’), Marvin Potzmann, Marko Raguz, Husein Balic (Thomas Goiginger 78’) Subs not used: Christian Ramsebner, Mads Emil Madsen, Yevgen Cheberko, Tobias Lawal, Thomas Gebauer
Booked: Peter Michorl (foul)
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (Sweden)
Assistants: Fredrik Klyver and Mikael Hallin (both Sweden)
Fourth Official: Glenn Nyberg (Sweden)