AEL 1 TOTTENHAM 2
TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino praised the impact of his super subs as Spurs overturned a half-time deficit to secure a narrow first-leg lead in their Europa League qualifier against AEL last night.
England Under-21 forward Harry Kane netted the winner with 10 minutes remaining after Spanish striker Roberto Soldado cancelled out Adrian Sardinero’s early strike for the hosts.
Argentine winger Erik Lamela made a positive impact after being summoned from the bench in the second period, while the contributions made by two of Spurs’ returning World Cup stars also pleased Pochettino.
“Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele had an impact when they came on, which is important,” he said. “I’m very pleased for Harry and Roberto also, strikers always want to score and they both scored. In the end it was an important win.”
AEL drew first blood as Sardinero took full advantage of Paulinho’s mistake to fire past keeper Hugo Lloris.
Lamela and Soldado endured an uninspiring first season at White Hart Lane but were involved in Tottenham’s leveller against the run of play with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Soldado managed just six Premier League goals last season but beat Moroccan stopper Karim Fegrouche with a first-time effort following Lamela’s floated ball forward.
Kane, who had earlier struck the crossbar, collected a Lamela pass to flash an effort into the top corner six minutes later as Spurs head into Thursday’s second leg in pole position to claim group stage qualification.