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Defoe brace helps Spurs to victory

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20 Sep 2013 00:31:55

Defoe brace helps Spurs to victory

Jermain Defoe's double gave Tottenham a winning start to their Europa League campaign, but the victory came at a cost as Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul all came off through injury.

Andre Villas-Boas had accused the Football League of putting his players' careers in danger with their scheduling of the Capital One Cup, but it was the low-key European clash against Tromso that claimed three injury victims tonight.

Rose pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury in the first half and Dembele had to be carried off on a stretcher after being kicked from behind by Lars Gunnar Johnsen.

Tottenham finished the game with 10 men as Kaboul hobbled off five minutes from time when Villas-Boas had made all of his substitutions.

Tottenham's summer spending spree means Villas-Boas is well-equipped to withstand the injury losses but, with two games coming up in the next five days, the timing is hardly ideal.

With no senior specialist left-back available, replacing Rose will be the Portuguese's biggest task.

The injuries took the gloss off a good night for Spurs although Tromso, who only made the group stages because of Besiktas' disqualification for match-fixing, were very poor.

Defoe is now one goal short of moving up to fifth in the all-time top scorers' list following his two well-taken strikes and Christian Eriksen's first goal for Spurs was a joy to behold.

Debutant Erik Lamela showed why Spurs shelled out £26million for his services early on.

The Argentinian opened his box of tricks to flick the ball past Thomas Drage, but his final ball went to waste.


PA

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