Roberto Soldado hits hat-trick to make it six from six for Andre Villas-Boas
Danny Rose makes his comeback from a three-month injury lay-off
Roberto Soldado opens the scoring for Spurs against Anji Makhachkala at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Tottenham Hotspur 4 (Soldado 7, 16, 70 pen; Holtby 54), Anzhi Makhachkala 1 (Ewerton 44)
Two weeks can be a long time in football, especially where Andre Villas-Boas is concerned. This result made it four wins from five for Tottenham, who advance to the knockout stages having secured a victory in every European match (six) this season and putting talk of crisis around the club firmly to one side.
More pertinently perhaps, this was the game when Roberto Soldado showed his true worth. And it didn’t take long, seven minutes to be exact,before he had scored his first of the evening.
The Spaniard, who had previously only scored three goals from open play since his summer move from Valencia, got the faintest of glances with his head to guide Gylfi Sigurdsson’s fine, curling cross onto Evgeni Pomazan’s left-hand post and in. Less than 10 minutes had passed before Villas-Boas’s side doubled their lead. Erik Lamela received the ball 30 yards from goal, slipped in Soldado and the striker needed just one touch before firing low across the goalkeeper.
Anzhi were starved of the ball in a first-half dominated by Lewis Holtby and Moussa Dembele. The Russians did reduce the lead one minute before the interval, Ewerton prodding in from a Nikita Burmistrov corner.
Danny Rose, making his first appearance at left-back following a three-month absence, was replaced for the second half by the youngster Ryan Fredericks.
And Fredericks played a key role in Tottenham’s third, turning smartly and distributing calmly when under pressure in defence. Yet it was Holtby who put the gloss on the move, controlling expertly inside the area following a deft chip from Townsend and steering the ball with poise into the far corner.
The German ensured that a period of Anzhi possession at the beginning of the second-half had been dispelled, with Spurs once again taking control. Soldado saw a header saved by Pomazan but got his hat-trick eventually, although his penalty was not initially given by the referee after Fredericks was brought down by Jucilei.
TOTTENHAM: Friedel, Naughton, Fryers, Rose (Fredericks 46), Holtby, Capoue, Townsend, Sigurdsson, Lamela, Soldado (Coulthirst 77), Dembele (Eriksen 64). Subs not used: Archer, Dawson, Chadli, Dombaxe. Booked: Holtby, Naughton.
ANZHI MAKHACHKALA: Pomazan, Grigalava, Epureanu, Agalarov (Angbwa 80), Ewerton, Jucilei, Sobolev, Razak (Gatagov 84), Maksimov, Serderov, Burmistrov. Subs not used: Dzhenetov, Tagirbekov, Adeleye. Booked: Grigalava, Maksimov.
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (Sweden).
Attendance: 30, 000