Tottenham 4-1 Monaco: Erik Lamela hat-trick ensures Spurs top Europa League group
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 11/12/15 8:48am
Tottenham finished top of Europa League Group J after Erik Lamela's first-half hat-trick secured a 4-1 win over Monaco.
Needing to avoid defeat to guarantee first place, Spurs made a superb start to the game when Lamela scored inside the opening two minutes at White Hart Lane.
The Argentinian made it 2-0 after quarter-of-an-hour when his shot squirmed under Danijel Subasic, and Lamela completed his hat-trick inside 37 minutes.
Monaco, who exit the competition with defeat, pulled a goal back in the second half through Stephan El Shaarawy, but Tom Carroll capped off a fine night for Spurs by scoring their fourth with 13 minutes remaining.
They will now look ahead to the draw for the last 32 next Monday, when they will be one of the 16 seeded teams.
While they could still face Gary Neville's Valencia, Sevilla or Borussia Dortmund, Mauricio Pochettino will be pleased with his side's smooth progress on a night when he made several changes to the starting line-up.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli were dropped to the bench, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Christian Eriksen did not make the squad, and 18-year-old Joshua Onomah his full Tottenham debut.
In pouring rain, Ben Davies pushed forward on the left for a first time and crossed for Lamela to sweep Spurs' opener into the far corner.
Heung-Min Son then shot over the bar from around 25 yards as the visitors, who needed a win to have any chance of making the last-32, struggled to get into the game.
They fell further behind in the 15th minute as Lamela's shot from the edge of the area squirmed under Subasic.
Son had the ball in the net again shortly afterwards but this time the offside flag spared Monaco.
However, Spurs continued to threaten as Carroll shot just wide and the lively Onomah saw an effort saved from a tight angle.
The third goal eventually arrived in the 37th minute as Son played in Lamela and he struck a first-time shot past the keeper at his near post.
With such a comfortable lead, Pochettino was quick to replace Eric Dier when he picked up a knock, bringing on Nabil Bentaleb for his first appearance in over three months.
Although Spurs stepped off the pace a little after the break they still created chances as Onomah was denied from close range.
Monaco did manage to pull a goal back just past the hour mark with a fine El Shaarawy shot and Nabil Dirar should have made it 3-2 when he headed over from a few yards out.
But Spurs managed to take the sting out of a potential Monaco comeback and Carroll added a fourth as he danced to the byline and finished from a tight angle under the keeper.