Europa League: Tottenham eased their worries slightly with a victory at Tromso
Andre Villas-Boas' struggles at Tottenham continued as his side laboured to a 2-0 win at Tromso in the Europa League.
Last Updated: 29/11/13 1:02am
Spurs recent problems have been well-documented, culminating in a 6-0 demolition at the hands of Manchester City last weekend, but they named a strong line-up with misfiring striker Roberto Soldado leading the line.
They struggled early on however, and after a goalless first half, the visitors were unable to craft any meaningful chances in the chilly conditions in Norway.
It was the hosts who ended up handing Spurs the breakthrough, though.
Just after the hour mark they won a free-kick on the left-hand side, with Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson standing over it. A low delivery seemed to out-fox the Tromso back line however, and though Vlad Chiriches appeared to get the last touch, it eventually ricocheted off Tromso defender Adnan Cauevic and into the goal.
It was 2-0 not long after, as Sigurdsson (75) was again afforded the space to slip in Mousa Dembele this time, and the Belgian made no mistake to score his first Spurs goal since last October.
Dembele had the chance to make the scoreline yet more flattering just a minute later, but his shot rebounded off the post before he miscued the follow-up.
Those were the positives from a sub-zero night at the northern tip of Norway, but there were also a few negatives for the north London club and their under-pressure manager.
Soldado again looked isolated up front, the visitors' momentum was slow and Nacer Chadli missed a big sitter in the first half.
Perhaps most worrying but important to remember for Spurs is that Tromso were relegated from Norway's top flight three weeks ago, but remained in touch with their much-fancied opponents.
Jaroslaw Fojut provided a constant threat to Spurs from Thomas Drage's set-pieces, but Spurs held firm to keep a clean sheet.
Soldado and Andros Townsend were the bright sparks for Spurs on a night of frustration, typified by a five minute second half spell where three yellow cards were handed out to the visitors.
They were eventually able to grind out the victory however, maintaining their perfect start to this Europa League campaign, topping Group K and perhaps easing the pressure slightly off manager Villas-Boas.
|Tromsø||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||2|
|2||Shots off Target||9|
|29.4||1st Half Poss.||70.6|
|29.6||2nd Half Poss.||70.4|