Europa League: Soldado treble has Villas-Boas eyeing top four

Frank Dalleres
Follow Frank

TOTTENHAM boss Andre Villas-Boas last night urged his team to use a confidence-boosting rout of Anzhi Makhachkala as a springboard to return to the Premier League’s top table.

Striker Roberto Soldado ended his drought with a first Spurs hat-trick, while midfielder Lewis Holtby scored the pick of the bunch as the north Londoners romped into the Europa League last 32.

Last month’s 6-0 drubbing at Manchester City prompted speculation about Villas-Boas’s future but Tottenham have won four from five since and he believes their top-four quest is back on.

“We go into a big game now with Liverpool that can really put us back into our momentum,” he said of Sunday’s clash at White Hart Lane, which sees second play sixth.

“The Premier League at the moment is very, very tight together so with three points at the weekend we can join the teams at the top. Hopefully, if we do that it means we are completely back on track.”

Soldado ended a barren run dating back to October in the seventh minute when he glanced Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick in off the far post. Fellow summer signing Erik Lamela’s pinpoint through-ball set up Soldado to rifle the second moments later and he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 70th minute.

Before then Holtby wrapped up a perfect group campaign, controlling Andros Townsend’s chip with one touch and flicking a volley into the far corner with the next.