Tottenham 3 Limassol 0: Three talking points as Harry Kane stars
Tottenham 3 Limassol 0: Three talking points as Harry Kane impresses in the No18 shirt for Spurs
Are you watching Mr Hodgson?
On the day Roy Hodgson ushered in a potentially new era for the England national side, it was fitting that Harry Kane continued his goal-scoring momentum in the Europa League on Thursday night. Although the England Under-21 international missed a first-half penalty which was blocked by Pulpo Romero’s legs, Kane looked most likely to make the breakthrough in the first half from open play at White Hart Lane. Looking every inch a traditional English striker as he provided an aerial threat held up the ball well, the 21-year-old also showcased the more subtle aspects of his game, too. Tottenham’s most-threatening chance of the opening 45 minutes until the opener resulted from Kane spinning his marker with a cunning turn and running at the heart of the visitors’s defence. When Limassol finally made a mistake, Kane was alert to collect Paulinho’s pass and slot a finish past Romero in Jermain Defoe-like fashion, showing he is the right man to fill the former Spurs striker’s No18 shirt. Having signed a five-year contract extension this week, Kane could have a big future at the club – and England in years to come.
Townsend playing for Tottenham future
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino ruled out selling Andros Townsend before the summer transfer deadline ahead of Limassol’s visit to White Hart Lane. Townsend has reportedly been the subject of a £12m bid from Southampton this week, leaving a question mark hanging over his Spurs future. So, Thursday night represented a chance for Townsend to prove that he has something to offer Pochettino, or overtly, keep the Saints’s interest burning. What will the Spurs manager or Ronald Koeman have learnt? Not an awful lot that the duo didn’t know already. Townsend has the ability to produce something unexpected, but does so inconsistently. He injects pace into the north London side, yet there is an element of naivety about the way the winger plays. Oh, and he can take a penalty after going one better than Kane and dispatching a second-half spot-kick. For Southampton, the England international would be a good addition, although £12m is rather steep. For Spurs, Townsend can be a good squad player but he should expect Europa League appearances as opposed to Premier League starts, especially with Erik Lamela finding form.
Paulinho provides Spurs spark
With the high-profile visit of Liverpool to come on Sunday, it was no surprise that Pochettino omitted the likes of Lamela and Christian Eriksen from the match day squad, whilst Sunday’s goal-scorers Emmanuel Adebayor and Nacer Chadli dropped to the bench. It meant a midfield trio of Paulinho, Sandro and Mousa Dembele. Whilst they were powerful forces in the centre of the park, they lacked a creative spark at times. If it wasn’t for a rash moment from Karim Fegrouch to concede the penalty and sloppy moments either side of half-time, Spurs may have endured a more nervy 90 minutes. Of the midfield three, Paulinho contributed the most. The Brazil international is eager to impress his fellow South American and it was his pass which teed up Kane for the opener after harrying Limassol’s defence. A high-pressing game was evident as Pochettino regularly waved his back four up the pitch if they retreated too deep, which didn’t happen too often with the visitors offering little up front. But Spurs started the second half in the same manner as they finished it. Kane and Paulinho put sustained pressure on the Limassol defence and the inevitable error came. The Brazilian was on hand to power a finish past Romero and Spurs saw out the rest of the play-off tie professionally.