Europa League: Erik Lamela and Harry Kane help Tottenham thrash Asteras Tripolis 5-1
By Pete Hall - @PeteHall86
Last Updated: 24/10/14 6:22am
A wondrous goal from Erik Lamela and a Harry Kane hat-trick helped Tottenham earn a 5-1 home win over Asteras Tripolis in Thursday's Europa League clash, with Kane finishing the game in goal after Hugo Lloris was sent off.
The Premier League side had yet to taste victory in Group C prior to kick-off at White Hart Lane, but settled any early nerves by taking the lead through Kane in the 13th minute - his second Europa League strike of the season.
The Greek visitors were far from out of the contest, and had several chances to get back on level terms, but an extraordinary piece of skill from Lamela, commonly known as a ‘rabona’, in the process of scoring doubled the hosts' lead.
That incredible strike seemed to take the wind out of the visitors' sails, as they struggled to make any inroads on the Spurs goal afterwards.
Lamela got his second and Tottenham's third midway through the second half, powerfully volleying in at the near post to make sure of the three points for Spurs.
Kane bagged himself a treble late on, tapping in the loose ball after Asteras goalkeeper Tomas Kosicky had fumbled an effort from Mousa Dembele into his path, before heading in from close range to complete the rout.
Kane's eventful night was far from over, as he took the Spurs goalkeeper's jersey off the red-carded Lloris when no remaining substitutions were available to allow Michel Vorm to enter the fray.
From the resulting free-kick, Kane did allow a tame effort from Jeronimo Barrales to slip under him to give the visitors a late consolation, and add yet more drama to a fantastic match which seemed to have everything.
The result sees Mauricio Pochettino’s men move up to second in Group C with the return game in Greece next up, knowing that another win will go a long way to seeing Spurs qualify for the knockout stages.
Spurs got off to an edgy start, with a mistake from Etienne Capoue letting Pablo Mazza get in behind early on, but the winger dragged his shot well wide without troubling Lloris in the Tottenham goal.
However, as the visitors were looking dangerous in possession, Kane - just as he did against Besiktas - scored from distance to break the deadlock.
The England Under-21 striker had plenty of time to line the shot up, but capitalised in clinical fashion, firing his strike low and hard into the bottom corner.
Kane then almost turned creator for Capoue, but after a neat move and throughball from Kane, the French midfielder could not quite bring the ball under control, and Kosicky was out quickly to smother.
Asteras had a great chance to level through Facundo Parra, who saw his first effort well saved by Lloris, and then the rebound brilliantly blocked by Ben Davies, with Lloris stranded.
However Lamela, who had been quiet in the opening exchanges, lit up the Lane with incredible showmanship to send the home fans into raptures as he grabbed Spurs' second.
As the ball came across the edge of the box, Lamela wrapped his left leg around the back of his right and curled the ball past Kosicky, much to the amazement of everyone involved.
After the break, Spurs took their foot off the gas a little, and invited the visitors to attack, with some last-ditch defending needed to keep the Greeks at bay.
On the hour mark, Kane had a great chance to net another but as the ball was pulled back to him, his side-footed effort was tame, and easily saved by Kosicky.
Lamela again became the centre of attention by adding Spurs' third. He managed to find space in the box to get a shot away, which looped up off an Asteras defender, and the Argentina forward lashed the loose ball past Kosicky at his near post, with the pace of the volley his undoing.
Lloris, who had been a spectator for much of the match, then pulled off a stunning save high to his left, clawing a well-timed volley from Fernando Usero around the post.
Kane added a fourth for Spurs, tapping in following Dembele's powerful strike which swerved and cause Kosicky all sorts of problems, and then completed his first hat-trick for the club, heading home a Federico Fazio cross to put the icing on the cake.
Yet, just as the crowd thought the action was petering out, Lloris received his marching orders for a foul on the edge of the box, and with no substitutions left, Kane took the jersey for the remaining few minutes.
The stand-in conceded straight away, letting Barrales' free-kick slip underneath his despairing dive, to at least give the visiting Greeks something to shout about before the final whistle blew.