Tottenham 3-0 Tromso

By Graham ChaseBBC Sport
Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe moved within two goals of Martin Chivers' Tottenham European scoring record as Spurs eased to victory against Norwegians Tromso.

The England striker produced a precise finish after a pass from new signing Erik Lamela to put the hosts ahead.

Eight minutes later Defoe ran on to a Lewis Holtby through ball and scored his 20th European goal for the club.

Christian Eriksen curled in from 25 yards for his first goal for the club late on to put Spurs top of Group K.

The only negatives were potential injuries to Danny Rose, Moussa Dembele and Younes Kaboul.

Left-back Rose limped off just after the half-hour, while Belgium midfielder Dembele was carried off on a stretcher in the second half, and Spurs finished the game with 10 men after defender Younes Kaboul went off in the final minutes.

But with Andre Villas-Boas making six changes to the side that beat Norwich 2-0 last Saturday, Tottenham produced a controlled performance that suggests they have the squad depth to be able to rotate and thrive in Europe.

Villas-Boas has preferred new signing Roberto Soldado in attack so far this season and Defoe has found his domestic action limited to a total of 37 minutes across three substitute appearances in the Premier League.

But the 30-year-old once again demonstrated he remains a ruthlessly effective option in Europe.

The Spurs head coach can only have been impressed with the way the striker combined with Holtby and Lamela, making his first start since joining from Roma, particularly in the opening 30 minutes.

Tromso were forced deep from the start and the ease with which Holtby opened them up for Defoe's firm shot to be saved by goalkeeper Marcus Sahlman was ominous.

In the 21st-minute, Defoe made no mistake when he was picked out by a gentle first-time pass from Lamela before clipping the ball over Sahlman to open the scoring.

The second came when Germany midfielder Holtby slid through for Defoe, who again cleverly lost his marker, to guide a shot into the corner.

Tromso's on-loan Fulham midfielder Josh Pritchard dragged well wide from distance with the visitors' only hint of a threat in the opening period.

Tottenham failed to reproduce the same intensity after the interval, with Holtby and Dembele both missing from distance.

Dembele's replacement Eriksen produced a fine ball that saw Sandro's header saved by Sahlman.

With a Premier League game against Cardiff on Sunday and a Capital One Cup match at Aston Villa on Tuesday, Spurs rarely extended themselves, although Eriksen scored his first for the club with a dipping effort from outside the area.