Tottenham Hotspur booked their place in the next round of Europe’s second competition after beating Fiorentina 4-1 on aggregate.
The result last night showed how far Tottenham have improved since last season. This time last year Spurs were knocked out by the Italian side after losing 2-0 (3-1 on aggregate) in Florence. The team featured the likes of Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Andros Townsend. All have since departed from the club.
Yet, last night Tottenham coped well with their high-flying Italian opponents, even if without key players Harry Kane and Mousa Dembele, who both missed the game due to injury. Tottenham opened the scoring in the 25th minute as Dele Alli released Ryan Mason who rolled the ball past goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu into the right hand side of the net.
A fine strike from Erik Lamela then made a comeback for the Italian side harder as Nacer Chadli’s previous shot was saved. Lamela had ran back to fire the rebound into the goal.
The tie was then put to bed ten minutes from time when Kieran Trippier's cross was put into the back of the net by Fiorentina captain Gonzalo Rodriguez.
Adapted well without Kane
The North London Club were without their top goal scorer Harry Kane due to a broken nose he sustained in their cup tie against Crystal Palace on the weekend. While Tottenham don’t have a striker to replace him, they often resort to playing Nacer Chadli or Heung-Min Son in that role. Last night Chadli took the position and while wasn’t as adapted as expected to the position he still linked up well with his teammates and created the chance for Tottenham’s second goal.
The match saw Tottenham have 12 shots at goal, which is approximately half of what they’re used to, showing that they are stronger with him in the team but still have other options in front of goal than Harry Kane.
Youth given a chance
Mauricio Pochettino has seen great success in his managerial career when it comes to developing young prospects into stars and last night was another example of him giving young players a chance. Harry Winks, Joshua Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vickers were all on the substitute bench for the tie, with Winks and Onomah making appearances in the last 20 minutes.
While it doesn’t look like much featuring for this amount of time can make the world of difference to a youngster. Not only does it show the player that the manager believes in him and his abilities it gives him vital experience as their career progresses. More so the show of belief from the manager will motivate the young players to work harder and develop better knowing this.
Tottenham will face a struggling Swansea City side in the Premier League on Sunday as they look to carry on with their title challenge. It has been announced that they will play Borussia Dortmund in the next stages.