Wolfsberger 1-4 Tottenham: Gareth Bale, Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura, Carlos Vinicius on target

Match report as Tottenham put one foot into the Europa League last 16 with a convincing 4-1 win over Wolfsberger in Budapest; Gareth Bale, Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius all on target

Gareth Bale celebrates his brilliant strike in the first-half in Budapest 1:28
Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho says he is 'happy' with the performances of Gareth Bale and Dele Alli in their 4-1 win at Wolfsberger

Tottenham took a giant stride towards booking their place in the Europa League last 16 as Gareth Bale scored during a resounding 4-1 win over Wolfsberger in Budapest.

The last-32 first-leg tie was moved from Austria to Hungary's Puskas Arena due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Heung-Min Son gave Tottenham a 13th-minute lead when he headed in Bale's cross.

Bale's brilliant finish made it 2-0 before the half-hour before Lucas Moura's solo effort extended Spurs' advantage (34).

Michael Liendl gave Wolfsberger hope early in the second half as he scored from the penalty spot after Moussa Sissoko needlessly clattered into Christopher Wernitznig (55).

But a late finish from Carlos Vinicius ensured Tottenham take a three-goal cushion back to London ahead of the second leg next Wednesday.

Lucas Moura celebrates with team-mates after putting Tottenham 3-0 up against Wolfsberger
Image: Lucas Moura celebrates with team-mates after putting Tottenham 3-0 up

Player ratings

Wolfsberger AC: Kofler (7), Novak (5), Baumgartner (5), Lochoshvili (5), Scherzer (5), Sprangler (5), Taferner (5), Liendl (7), Wernitznig (6), Joveljic (5), Vizinger (5).

Subs: Giorbelidze (5), Henriksson (6), Pavelic (n/a), Dieng (5), Stratznig (5).

Tottenham: Lloris (7), Doherty (7), Dier (6), Alderweireld (6), Davies (6), Sissoko (6), Winks (7), Bale (7), Alli (8), Lucas Moura (8), Son (7).

Subs: Hojbjerg (n/a), Lamela (7), Bergwijn (6), Ndombele (n/a), Vinicius (6).

Man of the match: Dele Alli.

Spurs rediscover their swagger

Including finals, Jose Mourinho has now won each of his last 13 knockout ties in the Europa League and has not lost an away knockout match in the competition since December 2002 with Porto.

Tottenham arrived in Budapest having failed to win any of their previous first-leg knockout ties since beating Inter Milan at White Hart Lane during the 2012/13 season, but they were faced by the lowest-ranked side left in this season's competition.

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Heung-Min Son celebrates with Gareth Bale after putting Tottenham ahead against Wolfsberger
Image: Heung-Min Son celebrates with Gareth Bale after putting Tottenham ahead

Wolfsberger, in truth, struggled during a one-sided opening half. Son has often shone in Harry Kane's absence and he did again as he gave Spurs a 13th-minute lead.

A slick move saw Matt Doherty play in Bale and the Wales international picked out Son, who headed into the far corner between the legs of defender Luka Lochoshvili.

Team news

Dele Alli started his first game since January 10 in Tottenham's Europa League round of 32 first leg against Wolfsberger. Alli has been out with a tendon injury but gets the nod in Jose Mourinho's starting XI, with Gareth Bale and Son Heung-min also starting.

There was no place in the matchday squad for Harry Kane, who did not travel to Budapest.

This was Wolfsberger's first ever knockout match in major European football, but they fell further behind when Bale doubled Tottenham's lead with a brilliant strike just before the half-hour mark. Doherty again played in the Welshman and he cut back inside onto his left foot, leaving Jonathan Scherzer for dead before lashing his shot into the far corner.

Six minutes later, Moura made it 3-0 with a sublime solo effort. The Brazilian breezed past Sven Sprangler, Lochoshvili and Dominik Baumgartner into the box before firing low into the corner to put Spurs in total command.

Toby Alderweireld rises to win the ball during the round-of-32 tie
Image: Toby Alderweireld rises to win the ball during the round-of-32 tie

Wolfsberger had offered very little, with Hugo Lloris' fine reflex save to claw away Dario Vizinger's header the closest the Austrian side came to finding a route back into the contest - but Ferdinand Feldhofer's side improved after the break.

With Son withdrawn ahead of Sunday's trip to face West Ham, Bale was denied a second when he collected Dele Alli's cute flick but his curled effort was palmed to safety by Alexander Kofler.

Four minutes later, Wolfsberger were handed the chance of reducing the deficit when Sissoko was caught on the ball as Spurs played out from a goal-kick, with referee Ali Palabiyik well-placed to spot a foul on Wernitznig.

Moussa Sissoko is penalised for a foul inside the box in the second period
Image: Moussa Sissoko is penalised for a foul inside the box in the second period

Liendl converted his penalty into the bottom corner to breathe life into the contest, and Wolfsberger came within inches of a second when their captain Liendl then turned provider for Wernitznig to fire his shot against the underside of the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining.

Mourinho turned to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele to regain control of midfield and Tottenham's greater depth told in the closing stages as they added a fourth.

Hojbjerg's cross from the right was glanced on by fellow substitute Erik Lamela and Vinicius showed his predatory instincts to divert the ball over the line from close range.

Jose: We gave them life

Jose Mourinho watches on from the Puskas Arena on Thursday
Image: Jose Mourinho watches on from the Puskas Arena on Thursday

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho: "We had to come and play with ambition which we did. The score should have been more than 3-0 at half-time.

"In the second half we made that mistake that gave them life. There were some similarities with Everton. If you're in control and make a mistake you give the opposition life and the game can change. In here it didn't change. But the 3-2 was not far from happening.

"We had good control of the game. Lots of chances. I believe the last goal put almost a period on this tie. 4-1 away is a very good result.

"I don't consider this an incredible victory, just a good victory that brings good feelings. But flying back, the plane will be a different plane than after a defeat. Tomorrow morning in training, the same.

"We managed to rest a few players by not playing them 90 minutes - like Sonny only playing 45 minutes at 3-0."

Man of the match - Dele Alli

This was a big opportunity for Alli, who was handed his first start since clear-the-air talks with Mourinho, and he took it with an impressive showing in the No 10 position.

A sublime piece of skill almost saw him get on the scoresheet as he nutmegged a defender and got a shot away but goalkeeper Alexander Kofler made a block, with Eric Dier heading the resulting corner over.

Alli may not have got the goal his performance deserved but he showed his class throughout, flicking another ball inside for Bale to go close to a second following the restart.

Son: Spurs came with the right mindset

Tottenham were grateful to having such a handsome lead by the interval
Image: Tottenham were grateful to having such a handsome lead by the interval

Tottenham forward Heung-Min Son: "It's a big honour [to play at the Puskas Arena after winning the Puskas award for best goal of the year]. Playing at this stadium - it's massive. It's very special because I won the award for the last year.

"We got the win, that was more important than the special feeling. It's very important we showed from minute one that we wanted to win, not only 1-0 or 2-0. We showed good attitude and scored three goals in the first half. The guys had a really good mindset."

On linking up with Gareth Bale: "I have a really close relationship with him. I'm very happy he's getting game time and scored a goal and got an assist. I really enjoy playing with him."

Opta stats

  • No team in the history of major UEFA European competition have won by 3+ goals away from home in the first leg of a knockout tie and failed to progress.
  • RZ Pellets WAC have lost four of their seven home games in the UEFA Europa League (W1 D2).
  • Spurs became only the second English team to score 3+ goals in three consecutive away major UEFA European matches, after Liverpool between October 2017 and February 2018.
  • Tottenham's Son Heung-Min scored his 18th goal of the season in all competitions in his 35th appearance, equalling his tally in 41 appearances last season.

What's next?

Live Renault Super Sunday

Tottenham travel to face West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Coverage starts at 11am with kick-off at 12pm.

Wolfsberger visit Sturm Graz on Sunday in the Austrian Bundesliga before Spurs host the Europa League round-of-32 second leg on Wednesday at 5pm.

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