Tottenham have taken a giant leap to secure their place in the last 16 Europa League games as Gareth Bale scored in a resounding 4-1 win over Wolfsberger in Budapest.
The first leg of the last 32 games has been moved from Austria to Puskas Arena in Hungary due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Heung-Min Son gave Tottenham a 13th-minute lead when he managed the center of Matt Doherty.
Bale’s brilliant finish took the score to 2-0 before the half hour before Lucas Moura’s solo effort extended Spurs’ advantage (34).
Michael Liendl gave Wolfsberger hope early in the second half as he scored from the penalty spot after Moussa Sissoko unnecessarily slammed against Christopher Wernitznig (55).
But a late arrival from Carlos Vinicius allowed Tottenham to bring back a three-goal cushion in London ahead of the second leg next Wednesday.
Wolfsberger AC: Kofler (7), Novak (5), Baumgartner (5), Lochoshvili (5), Scherzer (5), Sprangler (5), Taferner (5), Liendl (7), Wernitznig (6), Joveljic (5), Vizinger (5).
Submarines: Giorbelidze (5), Henriksson (6), Pavelic (n / a), Dieng (5), Stratznig (5).
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Doherty (7), Dier (6), Alderweireld (6), Davies (6), Sissoko (6), Winks (7), Bale (7), Alli (8), Lucas Moura (8) , Son (7).
Submarines: Hojbjerg (n / a), Lamela (7), Bergwijn (6), Ndombele (n / a), Vinicius (6).
Man of the match: Dele Alli.
Spurs rediscover their bluster
Including the finals, Jose Mourinho has now won each of his last 13 Europa League knockout matches and has not lost a knockout match in the competition since December 2002 with Porto.
Tottenham arrived in Budapest after failing to win one of their previous knockout games since defeating Inter Milan at White Hart Lane in the 2012/13 season, but they were faced with the lowest ranked team in this season’s competition.
Wolfsberger, in truth, struggled in a one-sided first half. Son often shone in the absence of Harry Kane and he did so again giving Spurs a 13th minute lead.
A skillful move saw Matt Doherty play for Bale and the Welsh international picked Son, who headed into the far corner between the legs of defender Luka Lochoshvili.
Dele Alli started his first game since January 10 in Tottenham’s Europa League round of 16 first leg against Wolfsberger. Alli came out with a tendon injury but gets the nod in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI, with Gareth Bale and Son Heung-min also starting.
There was no room on the day’s shift for Harry Kane, who did not make it to Budapest.
It was Wolfsberger’s first knockout game in major European football, but they fell behind when Bale doubled Tottenham’s lead with a brilliant strike just before the half hour mark. Doherty played in the Welshman again and he cut inside on his left foot, leaving Jonathan Scherzer to be dead before hitting his shot in the far corner.
Six minutes later, Moura went 3-0 with a sublime solo effort. The Brazilian passed Sven Sprangler, Lochoshvili and Dominik Baumgartner in the box before pulling low in the corner to put Spurs in control.
Wolfsberger had offered very little, with Hugo Lloris’ nice reflex stop to claw the head of Dario Vizinger the closest the Austrian team had come to find a way back in the game – but Ferdinand Feldhofer’s team s ‘is improved after the break.
With Son withdrawn ahead of Sunday’s trip to face West Ham, Bale was denied for a second when he picked up the lovely Dele Alli flick, but his coiled effort was put back to safety by Alexander Kofler.
Four minutes later, Wolfsberger had the chance to cut the deficit when Sissoko was caught on the ball as Spurs played on a goal kick, referee Ali Palabiyik well placed to spot a foul on Wernitznig.
Liendl converted his penalty in the bottom corner to bring the fight to life, and Wolfsberger came in inches to the second when their captain Liendl then turned the provider for Wernitznig to fire his shot against the underside of the crossbar at 20 minutes. of the end.
Mourinho turned to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele to regain control of the midfield and Tottenham’s greater depth was revealed in the final stages as they added a fourth.
Hojbjerg’s cross from the right was glanced over by his replacement colleague Erik Lamela and Vinicius showed his predatory instinct to deflect the ball over the close line.
Jose: We gave them life
Tottenham boss Jose mourinho: “We had to come and play with ambition, which we did. The score should have been over 3-0 at half-time.
“In the second half we made that mistake that gave them life. There were similarities to Everton. If you are in control and make a mistake you bring the opposition to life and the game can change. , that hasn’t changed, but the 3-2 wasn’t far from happening.
“We had good control of the game. Lots of chances. I think the last goal almost put a spell on that draw. 4-1 away is a very good result.
“I don’t see it as an incredible win, just a good win that brings good feelings. But coming back, the plane will be a different plane than the one after a defeat. Tomorrow morning in training, the same.
“We were able to put a few players to rest by not playing them 90 minutes – like Sonny only playing 45 minutes at 3-0.”
Man of the Match – Dele Alli
It was a great opportunity for Alli, who had his first start since clear-cut talks with Mourinho, and he seized it with an impressive performance in the No.10 position.
Sublime skill almost saw him step onto the scoresheet as he crushed a defender and got a shot, but goalkeeper Alexander Kofler managed a block, with Eric Dier heading the resulting corner.
Alli may not have reached the goal his performance deserved, but he showed his class throughout, pushing another ball inside to get Bale closer to a second after the restart.
Son: Spurs came with the right frame of mind
Tottenham forward Son Heung-Min: “It’s a great honor [to play at the Puskas Arena after winning the Puskas award for best goal of the year]. To play in this stadium – it’s huge. It’s very special because I won the award last year.
“We got the win, it was more than the special feeling. It’s very important that we showed from the first minute that we wanted to win, not just 1-0 or 2-0. We showed ‘a good attitude and we scored three goals in the first half. The guys had a really good mood. “
On the affair with Gareth Bale: “I have a very close relationship with him. I’m very happy that he got some playing time, scored a goal and got an assist. I really like playing with him. “
- No team in the history of UEFA’s big European competition has won by 3+ goals away from home in the first leg of a knockout match and failed to progress.
- RZ Pellets WAC have lost four of their seven home matches in the UEFA Europa League (W1 D2).
- Spurs became the second English team to score more than 3 goals in three consecutive major European games away from UEFA, after Liverpool between October 2017 and February 2018.
- Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min scored his 18th goal of the season in all competitions in his 35th appearance, tying his total in 41 appearances last season.
Tottenham travel to face West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Coverage begins at 11 a.m. with kick-off at 12 p.m.
Wolfsberger visits Sturm Graz on Sunday in the Austrian Bundesliga before Spurs host the Europa League round of 16 second leg on Wednesday at 5pm.