Tottenham Hotspur vs. Dinamo Tbilisi: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Spurs waltzed to an 8-0 aggregate victory over Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday, winning 3-0 in the second leg of their Europa League playoff.
Tottenham dominated possession and controlled the tempo for long periods, but had to wait until just before halftime to break the deadlock.
Jermain Defoe grabbed two goals in four minutes to put the home side in cruise control, then Lewis Holtby fired in a cracking effort from distance to make it three in the second half.
Andre Villas-Boas named a much-changed side in the knowledge that his charges held an overwhelming advantage after their crushing win in Georgia, with the likes of Holtby, Sandro and Kyle Naughton coming in to prove their worth.
With the North London derby at the weekend fresh in mind, it was a great chance for the manager to run the rule over the other half of his squad.
Spurs started positively and often looked for the run of Defoe in behind or to a strong right side that consisted of Kyle Walker and Andros Townsend.
Defoe missed the first chance of the half, as after Tom Carroll played him in on the right channel, the England international dragged his early shot well wide of the target.
Spurs should have been awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark, but after Davit Khurtsilava batted the ball into Defoe's chest with his hand, the referee inexplicably awarded a free kick in the away side's favour.
Karma struck just 10 minutes later, as with Khurtsilava off the field nursing a knock, Defoe collected Holtby's clever reverse pass and fired home from 16 yards.
Spurs continued to press hard and were rewarded with a quickfire second just before halftime, with Sandro winning the ball high up and Walker releasing Gylfi Sigurdsson down the right side.
His low ball into the box was converted expertly by Defoe from three yards, doubling Spurs' lead on the brink of halftime.
In the second half AVB signalled it was "job done" at 7-0, replacing Townsend with Harry Kane and Walker with Ezekiel Fryers.
Sigurdsson, Defoe and Kane all conjured efforts on goal early on, with the former cracking against the crossbar after dipping over Loria's fingers, but it was Holtby who delivered the next blow.
Good buildup play down the left saw Carroll swivel and set the German up on the edge of the box, and the former Schalke midfielder obliged by smashing a glorious effort into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
The game petered out at a preseason pace, and AVB can look forward to the group stage draw knowing he has a squad big enough to take the competition seriously.
Key Player Grades
Sandro made an encouraging return from a horrific knee injury back at QPR in January, owning the midfield and stepping in to challenge with gusto.
Carroll was the unsung star of the show, as he looked incredibly creative and tidy in his passing and moved extremely well into space.
The two-goal hero sent a message to AVB, and it read: "I'm still here."
Full Player Grades
Tottenham face a North London derby on Sunday as they take on Arsenal at White Hart Lane. Dinamo are now free to resume their domestic campaign with the European distraction removed.
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