Friday 15 December 2017

Villas-boas curses injuries after spurs stroll

Tottenham 3 Tromso 0

Jermain Defoe's double gave Tottenham a winning start to their Europa League campaign, but the victory came at a cost as Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul all came off with injuries.

Andre Villas-Boas had accused the Football League of putting his players' careers in danger with their scheduling of the League Cup, but it was the low-key European clash against Tromso that claimed three injury victims last night.

Rose pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury in the first half and Dembele had to be carried off on a stretcher after being kicked from behind by Lars Gunnar Johnsen.

Tottenham finished the game with 10 men as Kaboul hobbled off five minutes from time when Villas-Boas had made all of his substitutions. Tottenham's summer spending spree means Villas-Boas is well equipped to withstand the injury losses, but, with two games coming up in the next five days, the timing is hardly ideal. With no senior specialist left-back available, replacing Rose will be the Portuguese's biggest task.

The injuries took the gloss off a good night for Spurs, although Tromso, who only made the group stages because of Besiktas' disqualification for match-fixing, were very poor.

Defoe (above) is now one goal short of moving up to fifth in the Spurs all-time top scorers' list following his two well-taken strikes, while Christian Eriksen's first goal for Spurs was a joy to behold. Kyle Naughton found Eriksen on the edge of the box and he clipped home a wonderful dipping shot.

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