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Tottenham 5-0 Red Star Belgrade: Brilliant Spurs boost confidence
Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son score twice each as Tottenham move up to second in Champions League Group B
Last Updated: 22/10/19 11:52pm
Tottenham put their recent problems behind them for the night with a comprehensive 5-0 home win over Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.
Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son both scored twice, with Erik Lamela also joining in the fun as Spurs rediscovered their spark against their overwhelmed Serbian opponents.
Having begun the evening bottom of Group B, the victory was enough to move Mauricio Pochettino's team back into second spot behind leaders Bayern Munich.
It was the German champions who humbled Tottenham 7-2 on this same pitch in their previous European outing, but defeat never looked likely against a miserable Red Star side.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga (7), Aurier (7), Sanchez (7), Vertonghen (6), Davies (7), Ndombele (8), Sissoko (7), Lamela (9), Alli (8), Son (9), Kane (9).
Subs: Dier (6), Foyth (6), Lo Celso (6).
Red Star: Borjan (5), Gobelijic (5), Degenek (4), Milunovic (5), Rodic (5), Vulic (5), Canas (5), Garcia (5), Marin (4), Van la Parra (6), Tomane (5).
Subs: Petrovic (5), Pavkov (5), Vukanovic (n/a).
Man of the Match: Harry Kane
How Tottenham got back on track
Tottenham's forwards looked full of energy from the outset, and that early promise was confirmed when Kane eluded Milos Degenek to head in Lamela's right-wing corner.
Lamela was the provider again when Pochettino's team doubled the lead in the 16th minute, with the Argentine finding the excellent Son who fired into the roof of the net.
Much of the old swagger that had been absent in the 1-1 draw at home to Watford on Saturday had returned by this point and the Tottenham players began to enjoy themselves.
Tanguy Ndombele forced a good save from Milan Borjan, and Lamela did the same soon after as Pochettino's men maintained the pressure throughout the first half.
The third came just before the break when Ndombele robbed former Chelsea player Marko Marin and fed Son, who slotted the ball beyond Borjan for his second goal.
After wasting another good chance, Lamela finally scored himself just before the hour mark as he converted Serge Aurier's cross after more fine work by Kane in the build-up.
The Tottenham captain helped himself to a second goal in the 72nd minute to put the seal on a dominant display that had the home fans cheering their heroes with relish once more.
There are bigger tests ahead for this team - starting on Sunday at Liverpool - but this was a welcome reminder of the quality they still possess. A bit of confidence and belief restored.
What the managers said
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino: "The pressing was there but not as much as I want. I want more. We'll get there. It's a massive experience for us as a group that has never lived this type of situation before.
"This type of situation should help us to get stronger. We have three games ahead in Belgrade, Munich and here against Olympiacos. It's in our hands and we're in a better position that last season."
Analysis: Have Tottenham found a formula?
Former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson on Soccer Special:
"Tottenham played very well tonight. It was exactly what they needed. They won the game in the first thirty minutes.
"Pochettino has changed personnel and formation. It looks to me he is not changing on purpose, but he was just looking for a formula. He found one tonight.
"There were a lot of positive signs for Tottenham tonight, especially in the front third of the pitch.
"I don't think for one moment that all is rosey. It's not a happy camp. But that will go a long way to putting things right."
Sky Sports' Ron Walker:
"Things couldn't have gone much better for Spurs tonight. Goal difference might not be paramount in the group stages for them, but confidence is something you cannot buy and Tottenham will have been boosted no end by the way this went.
"They haven't really put in a performance since putting four past Crystal Palace back on September 14, so to say this was overdue would be putting it lightly."
Tottenham's win in stats
- This was Tottenham's biggest win in a major European competition (excluding qualifiers) since beating Anorthosis Famagusta 6-1 in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.
- Tottenham are the first side to win a Champions League game by five or more goals having lost their previous game in the competition by five or more goals in the same season.
- Harry Kane has scored 16 goals in the group stages of the Champions League. Only Paul Scholes (19) has more amongst English players.
- Heung-Min Son has scored more goals (7) at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium than any other player in all competitions. Each of his last nine goals in the Champions League have been scored in England.
Spurs travel to Belgrade for the return meeting in their next match in this competition on November 6 but before that, there is the small matter of a couple of trips to Merseyside in the Premier League. Pochettino's team face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday before taking on Everton at Goodison Park the following week. Both matches are live on Sky Sports.