Clive Rose/Getty Images
Tottenham's need for more creativity obviously extends beyond providing for Soldado. At various points this season, Christian Eriksen, Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson have occupied what has essentially been a playmaking role in attacking midfield.
Each has had different degrees of success. In the latter two's give-and-go leading up to Dembele's goal, we saw the best of their passing minds at work.
Rated by Bleacher Report's Jerrad Peters in his match report as one of Spurs' best performers against the Norwegians, Dembele himself has moved away from a more attacking role since he joined Tottenham. Memories of his past at AZ Alkmaar and Fulham, along with flourishes of skill at Spurs, have led some to call for him to be positioned further forward again.
Though capable of doing such a job in the midst of crowded areas, the Belgian's penetrating style is better suited coming from deeper, where he can chart routes through the expanse of pitch in front of him.
Yet even with his defensive duties in Villas-Boas' midfield, this should not preclude Dembele from taking on a more involved role in his team's build-up play.
Few other players at Spurs are as good at forcing opposition players on to the back foot with purposeful running—be it into open space or areas that may subsequently create some.
The team needs movement and smart runs beyond that to capitalise on such efforts. But at least, it is one form of tonic to the more listless, meandering possession that has been a prominent feature of Spurs' play recently.
Shortly after his goal, Dembele underlined the threat of his charges from midfield with a neat exchange with Soldado just north of the centre circle. He followed through with the ball and was unlucky to hit the post with his shot, and the side netting with the rebound.
Lax Tromso defending aided this in a way most Premier League teams will not allow. Yet it was a reminder that being creative is not just about what happens in the final third.
As Dembele often did last season (and Luka Modric before that, albeit stylistically different), the first steps in a move can be key in setting the path to a chance. With uncertainty still over the best personnel for Tottenham's attack, Villas-Boas could do worse in giving more responsibility to the Belgium international.