UEFA Europa League: Anzhi Makhachkala 0 Tottenham 2
By Football News
First-half goals from Jermain Defoe and Nacer Chadli secured Tottenham a 2-0 UEFA Europa League win over Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday.
Defoe scored the opener after 34 minutes before Chadli added a second shortly after as Andre Villas-Boas' men kept up their 100 per cent record in the competition this season with a comfortable victory at the Stadion Saturn.
Despite facing more pressure in the second half than they had in the first, Tottenham's defence was rarely troubled, meaning the Premier League outfit are still yet to concede in their continental campaign.
Villas-Boas continued with his policy of playing Defoe in the competition after he scored twice against Tromso last time out, while Zeki Fryers and Vlad Chiriches made their first European starts for the club.
Anzhi had gone three games without scoring a European goal prior to the clash and named forwards Pavel Solomatin and Serder Serderov alongside Islamnur Abdulavov up-front, with Lacina Traore dropping to the bench.
After what was a subdued opening 10 minutes, Defoe had the first half-chance, firing just wide of Evgeni Pomazan's right-hand post.
Despite continuing to enjoy plenty of possession, the Premier League outfit struggled to break down a resolute Anzhi defence, with their next sight at goal coming courtesy of Lewis Holtby just after the half-hour mark.
However, the visitors' patience was rewarded when Defoe hammered home after 34 minutes.
Holtby slid the England international in with a neat pass and he made no mistake, putting Tottenham ahead with his fifth goal in this season’s competition.
Close-season recruit Chadli then made it two five minutes before the break with his first goal for Tottenham.
The midfielder coolly slotted past Pomazan after Kyle Walker had squared the ball into the box from the right-hand side to put Villas-Boas’ men firmly in charge.
Belgium international Chadli curled narrowly wide from outside the area five minutes after the break as he went in search of a second goal, before Andrei Eschenko forced Hugo Lloris into a save with his cross-shot from the left shortly after.
Lloris was then called in action twice more in quick succession, as he first parried away a Solomatin shot before punching away the resulting corner as the hosts showed their attacking capabilities for the first time in the match.
Solomatin again threatened late on, this time with a dipping drive, but Tottenham saw the game out with relative ease to record back-to-back victories in Group K.