Football

Tottenham player ratings v Asteras Tripolis

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Tottenham won 2-1 away to Greek side Asteras Tripolis in their Group C encounter to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League but tried their best to make things hard for themselves.

After Andros Townsend had won and converted a penalty, then provided the cross for Harry Kane to head in his tenth goal of the season, a comfortable night's work was to be expected but instead Mauricio Pochettino's side again came back from halftime in a daze and would have been behind had their Greek hosts showed any composure in front of goal.

After seeing off a ten minute wave of Asteras attacks, Spurs appeared to be cruising to victory before Federico Fazio was caught under yet another long ball and brought down sub Jeronimo Barralas, earning a red card and giving away a penalty.

The sub scored for the second successive game against Tottenham but the Lilywhites saw out injury time to record an important three points.

However, the game would have left more questions than answers for Pochettino and his Tottenham coaching staff.

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The Ratings

Michel Vorm - 7.0

Was unlucky that the penalty sneaked through his legs, but otherwise showed good reflexes and handling. Should have been tested more as Asteras wasted several good opportunities after half time.

Eric Dier - 5.5

Looking increasingly uneasy at right back. Positioning is terrible, often caught several yards deeper than his defensive colleagues, and the communication with Fazio was terrible.

Ben Davies - 6.0

Some poor passing but largely due to a lack of options as the Welsh left back was left alone to both cover and attack Tottenham's left flank.

Federico Fazio - 5.0

A good header of the ball, but woefully exposed by Tottenham's high line several times, including for the red card. Might feel the decision to penalise him for a foul on Barrales was harsh, as the striker did go down very easily, but that does not excuse the poor defending that led to the situation developing.

Jan Vertonghen - 6.5

Comfortable on the ball, and largely untroubled as his defensive colleagues went AWOL.

Benjamin Stambouli - 6.0

Did some good defensive work, some calming passing but not enough of an influence on the game or his team mates. Needs to start taking control of that central midfield area.

Mousa Dembele - 6.0

Showed some good twists and turns, and good strength on the ball, but ultimately did not influence the play enough. A few passes were slack and a lack of off the ball movement did not help to the tempo of Tottenham's play.

Erik Lamela - 5.5

Often dwel on the ball rather than passing to a free team mate. While showing plenty of verve, did not create anything of note before half time withdrawal.

Andros Townsend - 8.5

Man of the match. On the right, ran into a few dark alleys but when he switched to the left he drew the penalty (which he converted nicely) with his direct running, and that same tactic led to him putting a lovely cross for Harry Kane to nod home. Did plenty of tracking back too.

Christian Eriksen - 6.0

Very much out of sorts. Lightweight playing behind Kane in the first half, completely ineffective on the right in the second before he was subbed. Pochettino should consider resting the Dane until the side is set up better.

Harry Kane - 7.5

Scored his tenth goal of the season when he outmuscled his marker to head home, covered lots of ground, and tried to link up with his team mates.

Subs:

Roberto Soldado (for Lamela, 45) - 6.0

Went fairly close with a volleyed effort, but was unable to hold the ball up adequately.

Ryan Mason (for Eriksen, 63) - 6.5

Some neat passing, which is quickly becoming his trademark, and helped quell Asteras' attacking impetus.

Paulinho (for Kane, 77) - 6.0

Ran about a bit as Tottenham tried to close the game out.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Europa League
Football

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