Defoe and Eriksen score as Spurs make light work of Tromso
Europa League win may have come at a cost after injuries to Dembele, Rose and Kaboul
Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe (centre) shoots to score the second against Tromso at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
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 through injury.
Andre Villas-Boas had accused the Football League of putting his players’ careers in danger with their scheduling of the Capital One Cup, but it was the low-key European clash against Tromso that claimed three injury victims tonight.
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 is now one goal short of moving up to fifth in the all-time top scorers’ list following his two well-taken strikes and Christian Eriksen’s first goal for Spurs was a joy to behold.
On the edge of the box, the Dane clipped a wonderful dipping shot over Sahlman and in at the far post.
Defoe acknowledged afterwards he had to take the opportunity to impress, given the strength of the Spurs squad.
“When you get an opportunity you’ve got to take it — it’s as simple as that,” said the England striker. “The performance was good tonight — we’ve won the game quite comfortably. It’s a case of working hard for the team, to win the game. There’s a good spirit there and the new lads have been brilliant.”