Tottenham Hotspur 3, Apoel Nicosia 0
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino played down suggestions of renewed tension with Danny Rose after Spurs completed their Champions League group by strolling to victory against Apoel at Wembley.
First goals for the club from striker Fernando Llorente and winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou either side of Son Heung-Min’s sixth of the season saw a much-changed Tottenham finish top with 16 points – the best of any team in the group stage.
The only sour note came when Rose – tipped to leave in January after losing his regular starting place – appeared unhappy to be substituted, moments after he had earned a yellow card for lashing out in an incident that left the defender bleeding from his temple.
“Players are never happy when they are going out,” said Pochettino. “He had a big cut and the doctors said he needed a stitch and it was impossible to play. Of course the player was frustrated because it was Champions League but nothing wrong.”
Winning their group ahead of Real Madrid means Tottenham will avoid Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain in Monday’s draw but could face Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto or Basel.
Summer signing Llorente opened his account in his 17th appearance when he spun and swept home in the 20th minute.
Son doubled Spurs’ lead before half-time he traded passes with Llorente and curled in low from 20 yards.
Nkoudou completed the scoring with a deflected shot nine minutes from time.
“To finish in a good way was fantastic for us,” Pochettino added. “Some players who had not played every week had the possibility to play and I am so happy for their performance. To finish with 16 points is a fantastic achievement in a difficult group.”