Football

Jermain Defoe enters record books as Spurs reach last 32

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Jermain Defoe became Tottenham Hotspur's all-time leading goalscorer in European football in Spurs' 2-1 win over Sheriff Tiraspol last night.

The English international scored his 23rd European goal from the penalty spot, five minutes after Erik Lamela has scored his first goal for the north London outfit.

Ismail Isa pulled a goal back for his side at White Hart Lane, but it wasn't enough for the Moldovans, who now can't qualify for the last 32.

With European football taking secondary importance for Spurs, manager Andre Villas-Boas made nine changes to the starting eleven, introducing Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue and Defoe from the cold.

It all started well for Spurs, who controlled the game from the first minute and had two good chances in the opening 10 minutes.

Mousa Dembele's rasping left-foot drive was saved by Tomic and a few minutes later Capoue's powerful shot went just wide from the left post.

Yet Tottenham's attacks became very similar and predictable with no one even trying to shoot.

Sheriff cut some of these attacks and had their chances on the respective counters and even hit the post with Isa's shot.

The first-half saw Spurs play something like Barca's tiki-taka, and the possession stats showed that nearly 80% of possession was for Spurs.

In the second-half, Tottenham started to play a bit more direct and started to shoot towards Tomic with more frequency.

First, Cristian Eriksen came very close to scoring a screamer, but his thumping 30-yard shot was saved by the keeper.

Five minutes later, Erik Lamela opened his account for Spurs on the hour-mark after the ball kindly broke to him and the Argentinian scored from around 10 yards. 

Five minutes later, Lamela continued with his amazing performance. El Coco went past four players, before being fouled in the box to win a clear penalty.

Jermain Defoe stood behind the ball and smashed it in the top of the net to become Tottenham's all-time European leading goalscorer.

Yet Sheriff tried to respond and scored in the 71st minute. Brad Friedel saved an initial shot, but didn't manage to save Isa's volley. This was the first goal Spurs have conceded in this year's Europa League.

Spurs than again started to play like in the first-half and killed the game to win comfortably and qualify for the last 32.

Man of the match - Erik Lamela: The Argentinian finally scored for Spurs, but besides that he played a crucial part in their victory, dazzling on the right-wing throughout the game and causing havoc in Sheriff's defence.

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Topics:
Football
Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur
Jermain Defoe
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