Wonder goal from Harry Winks catches eye as Spurs ease to victory

Wonder goal from Harry Winks catches eye as Spurs ease to victory

Tottenham's Harry Winks, second from left, celebrates with team mates after scoring his side's third goal. Picture: AP

Europa League: Tottenham Hotspur 4 Ludogorets 0

Tottenham's next fixture at their billion-Euro stadium will see fans readmitted for the north London derby against Arsenal, but it was a shame there were no supporters last night to witness a spectacular 50-yard strike from Harry Winks and Carlos Vinicius's first goals for the club.

Spurs brushed aside Ludogorets, bulldozing the  Bulgarians with ease, and the highlight was an audacious goal from Winks in the 63rd minute.

Receiving a short throw-in wide on the left and close to the halfway line, the England midfielder spotted goalkeeper Plamen Iliev off his goalline and lofted a long-range shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

It was a goal worthy of a grander occasion than a routine win by what was effectively Tottenham reserves, who were bolstered by two teenage debutants towards the end.

The opening exchanges suggested this was likely to be one-sided and sure enough Tottenham took the lead when Vinicius scored his first goal, in the 16th minute. Dele Alli's forward pass was only half cut out bv Dragos Grigore and fell into the path of Vinicius, who had the simple task of tucking it past Iliev from 12 yards.

His second goal, 20 minutes later was even simpler, a tap in from two yards after Dele cut the ball back when Iliev could only parry a shot from Tanguy Ndombele, who had dribbled from the halfway line.

The French midfielder was superb, a far cry from the player who looked so lost in his first season at Spurs, having struggled to adjust to life at Tottenham as the club's record signing. Ndombele's nadir came before lockdown when he was substituted at half-time twice, with Mourinho criticising his fitness and attitude. There was even talk of the player wanting to leave at the end of the season, but he has since returned rejuvenated and looks much more like the player who previously shone for Lyon in the Champions League.

Mourinho must be hoping to have the same effect on Dele Alli, who has fallen out of form and favour dramatically over the past year. The England midfielder was an early beneficiary when Mourinho took over from Mauricio Pochettino a year ago, but his form and confidence have since dipped. Given a rare start last night, he tried his best but little appeared to go his way, although he played a key part in the first two goals.

There was plenty to please the Portuguese, though, with a strong performance by a team of ten changes from the side that beat Manchester City last weekend.

Ten minutes after Winks made it 3-0 with his spectacular strike, Lucas Moura completed the scoring with a curling shot, allowing Mourinho to send on youngsters Alfie Whiteman, Jack Clarke, Harvey White and Dale Scarlett to see out the game.

TOTTENHAM: Hart 6 (Whiteman 81); Doherty 6, Tanganga 7, Sanchez 6, Davies 8; Winks 8, Ndombele 9 (Hojbjerg 61), Dele Alli 7 (White 81); Bale 7 (Clarke 67), Vinicius 8, Lucas Moura 7 (Scarlett 81).

LUDOGORETS: Iliev 7; Ikoko 6, Verdon 6, Moţi 7 Grigore 6 Nedyalkov 6; Abel 6 (Souza 68) Badji 6 (Yordanov 84);Despodov 6 Keșerü 5 (Tchibota 68) Yankov 6 (Mitkov 84)

Referee: Giorgi Kruashvilli (Georgia)

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