Five-star Tottenham reign in Georgia
Tottenham proved there might be life after Gareth Bale as Andros Townsend inspired the north Londoners to a thumping 5-0 win over Dinamo Tbilisi.
Bale sat out Thursday night's Europa League play-off first leg as he edged closer to a world-record move to Real Madrid.
But Tottenham, often branded a one-man team after Bale's heroics last term, showed they might not need the Welshman as young Townsend put on an impressive display that Bale would have been proud of.
The 22-year-old scored a superb solo goal to start the rout and he outpaced his marker to supply the assists for Roberto Soldado's first goal of the night and Paulinho's maiden strike for the club.
Danny Rose scored his first goal for Tottenham since his wonder strike against Arsenal in 2010 and Soldado added a second to round off the victory which almost certainly guarantees Spurs' progression to the group stages of the competition.
Even though he was some 2,200 miles away from London, Andre Villas-Boas could not escape questions about Bale in the run up to the game, and having seen technical director Franco Baldini despatched to Madrid on Wednesday night, it appears Spurs are resigned to losing their star man.
Yet there was plenty of reason for the Tottenham manager to be optimistic after this performance in the Georgian capital. Yes, Dinamo are hardly Champions League quality, but this was a potential banana skin that Tottenham avoided with ease, and there were some impressive displays all over the pitch.
Townsend showed how much his confidence has grown during his year at QPR while new signings Nacer Chadli, Soldado and Paulinho stood out again as they did at Crystal Palace last Sunday.
Even though the 55,000 capacity Dinamo Arena was half-full by kick-off, the noisy locals made sure the Spurs players knew they were not welcome.
The visitors responded well, but neither Soldado nor Gylfi Sigurdsson could take advantage of a moment of nervousness from Dinamo stopper Giorhi Loria.
Related Tottenham Hotspur News