Tottenham booked their place in the Europa Conference League group stages, overturning a first-leg deficit, with Harry Kane scoring for the first time since ending transfer speculation
A Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham swept past Pacos de Ferreira to book their place in the Europa Conference League group stage after a 3-0 win gave them a 3-1 aggregate victory.
Spurs were stunned last week when the Portuguese underdogs beat them 1-0 to set them up with the chance of a most unlikely progression.
But with Kane back in the XI following confirmation he will stay with the club, the Premier League club never really looked like succumbing to a shock exit.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo had refused to reveal whether Kane would come straight back into the line-up, but was given a chance to get some minutes, and goals, under his belt.
The striker was given a rapturous reception prior to kick-off and he took that good feeling into the game itself, scoring twice before the break to erase Pacos’ first-leg lead.
Spurs controlled the game after the break and their qualification was assured when Giovani Lo Celso’s free-kick found its way into the corner.
Here are the talking points from a routine Tottenham victory:
Tottenham ’s last game at this stadium ended with the home fans belting out “Are you watching Harry Kane?”.
Less than two weeks later and the mood has, unsurprisingly, completely shifted.
The pre-match ovation for the captain for the night was deafening, before a loud rendition proclaiming he’s one of their own.
And after missing an early chance, he made no such mistake in the ninth minute scoring another goal.
Many were wondering whether he had scored his last in a Spurs shirt, now he looks set for another prolific season.
His tweet was just 48 words long but it has seemingly erased a turbulent few months for both the player and the club.
Nu ‘no doubt’ about it
There had been questions about how much Tottenham fancy being in Europe’s third-tier competition this season.
Interim boss Ryan Mason had hinted that the squad were in the tournament that they didn’t really want to be in.
But if last week’s much-changed selection suggested Nuno felt similar, that was washed away as he named a very strong XI for the second-leg.
The Portuguese did make some changes, but with the likes of Kane, Eric Dier, Bryan Gil, Christian Romero and Giovano Lo Celso, it was always going to be a daunting task for Pacos.
It will add some extra games for Spurs, but Nuno has recent experience of juggling a much smaller squad, when he took Wolves to the Europa League quarters in 2020.
Gil looking at home
Nuno honestly admitted that he was still searching for his summer signing’s best position after the first leg.
Starting on the left-hand side of a front three, the Spaniard looked right at home and showed glimpses of the quality that made Spurs push to sign him.
He created Kane’s opener with a clever ball, but it was his clever off-the-ball runs which really caught the eye.
Gil won’t have been able to link-up with Kane too much, but the two looked as if they are developing an early understanding.
Still very early signs, but positive signs that Spurs have found themselves a real talent.
The Italian didn’t have a lot to do, but there were a few concerning moments during the first-half.
There were a couple of occasions where his passing almost got the side in trouble and he was then slow to react to a backpass, conceding a needless corner.
There’s certainly no need to panic, Gollini has the potential to be a great back-up to Hugo Lloris and even to replace him in years to come.
He should get plenty of opportunities to impress in the three cup competitions and has the pedigree to be a really quality addition to the Spurs side.
But it was a less than perfect home competitive debut.
The opposition may have not provided the sternest of tests, but Christian Romero showed the kind of impact he could have on this Spurs team.
The Argentinian is tough in the tackle, but it’s perhaps his ability on the ball that will quickly see him become a fan favourite at his new club.
Romero carried the ball out of defence on several occasions and even made runs into the opposition penalty area such is his tenacity to get on the ball.
He has yet to start a Premier League game, but Watford at home this weekend looks like it could be the perfect opportunity to test him in the domestic game.
Nuno came to north London with a reputation for pragmatism, but the forward thinking Romero points to a more progressive style.