Date : –  26th November 2020 Kick off : –  20.00
Competition : –  Europa League Group J   Venue : –  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 
Crowd : –  0,000
Referee : –  Giorgi Kruashvili  (GEO) Linesmen : –   Levan Varamishvili (GEO); Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth official : –  Georgi Vadachkoria (GEO)
UEFA Delegate : –  Per Svärd (SWE) UEFA Referee Observer : – Fredy Fautrel (FRA)
Weather : –  Chilly, clear, dry
Sours kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end
Playing time : –   90 + 6 minutes


    Vinicius  15m 28s  
    Vinicius  33m 02s  
    Winks  62m 25s  
    Moura  72m 20s  
  Ndombele  (foul on Nedyalkov)  51 Keseru (Handball)  06
  Hojbjerg  (foul on Yordanov)  90+4    


12.   Joe HART  ( 41.   Alfie WHITEMAN  82) 1.   Plamen ILIEV
  2.   Matt DOHERTY 22.   Jordan IKOKO
  6.   Davinson SANCHEZ 24.   Olivier VERDON
25.   Japhet TANGANGA 30.   Cosmin MOTI  (c)
33.   Ben DAVIES  (c) 21.   Dragos RIGORE
    3.   Anton NEDYALKOV
8.   Harry WINKS    
28.   Tanguy NDOMBELE    ( 5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG  61  ) 11.   Kiril DESPODOV   ( 37.   Bernard TEKPETEY  64)
  12.   Stephane BADJI   ( 82.   Ivan YORDANOV  90)
  9.   Gareth BALE  ( 47.   Jack CLARKE  68) 25.   ANICET Abel  ( 95.   Cauly OLIVERA  68)
20.   DELE Alli  ( 48. Harvey WHITE  82) 64.   Dominik YANKOV  ( 81.   Dimitar MITKOV  90)
27.   Lucas MOURA    ( 53. Dane SCARLETT  82)
45.   Carlos VINICIUS  28.   Claudiu KESERU   (13.   Mavis TCHIBOTA  68)
Substitutes Substitutes
40.   Brandon AUSTIN 27.   Vladislav STOYANOV
  3.   Sergio REGUILON 69.   Damyan DAMYANOV
24.   Serge AURIER   5.   Georgi TERZIEV
15.   Eric DIER 10.   Elvis MANU
17.   Moussa SISSOKO 32.   Josue SA
  7.   Heung-Min SON  
10.   Harry KANE


Manager : – Jose Mourinho Manager : –  Stanislav Genchev
Kit Supplier : –  Nike Kit Supplier : –  Nike
Shirt Sponsor : –  AIA Shirt Sponsor : – efbet
Colours : – 
[worn with white shorts]
Colours : –
Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website



This wasn’t quite a stroll in the park for Tottenham, as they overcame Ludogorets 4-0 without too much resistance, but it is probably as close as they will come to an easy win.  The Bulgarian opposition had been hit by Covid-19 cases before the international break and injuries after it, so their preparation for this tie was negligible … and it showed, as they were unable to pass to each other, retain possession or withstand Tottenham’s constant pressing.

After a minute’s silence for Diego Maradona, the action got underway with Spurs kicking off. While Ludogorets had the benefit of free-kicks to try and relieve the pressure, they could not clear the ball out of their own half. A free-kick to Tottenham brought another, when Keresu handled in the wall and got booked. Bale had a go from 25 yards out, but couldn’t get it to come down soon enough and it dipped after it had gone over the top. Another dead ball on ten minutes saw Bale’s shot deflected onto the roof of the net, with the keeper scrambling back in haste, as Spurs were all over the green shirted Ludogorets players. Vinicius and Dele shot wide and this preceded the opening goal. It wasn’t cleanly made, but when Ndombele played a straight pass down the middle to Dele, his attempted pass to Gareth Bale was intercepted, but ran into the path of Vinicius, who stroked the ball to the keeper’s left as he committed to a dive right. The left footed finish was composed and showed the Brazilian’s scoring ability if he gets the right service. 

To say that the goal had been coming, would have been an understatement, but it was up to Tottenham to finish the job. While enjoying a lot of the ball, Spurs weren’t really making many clear openings, with Winks’ drive from outside the box going a yard wide in the 26th minute was as close as they got. Ben Davies went closer, when Dele lifted a ball out to the left side of the area and the Welshman took a touch and thundered a shot against the outside of the post.

Less than a minute later, Ndombele picked up the ball on the halfway line and drove forward from left to right and when he reached the right hand corner of the D, hit a low shot at goal. The keeper did well to dive right to push it out, but Dele was alert to follow up and rather than score himself, he unselfishly squared it to Vinicius three yards out, in front of an open goal to score his and Tottenham’s second. Tanguy’s run was strong and he did well to get his shot on target, but the reading of where the ball might drop by Dele created the goal for Vinicius. 

Straight away Spurs were on the attack again, with Lucas picking off a stray pass and shooting narrowly wide of the keeper’s right-hand post. He was then put in on goal, but under pressure from Moti, he skewed his shot over the bar. Every time the Bulgarian side tried to find a team-mate with a ball out of defence, it went to a white shirt or they were strong enough to win it off the intended recipient.

At the very start of the second half, Lucas Moura put in a cross from the left wing and Bale rose to head the ball back the way it came. He might have been going for goal, heading it back towards the far post, but in the end it went wide, with Vinicius inches away from getting a touch that would have brought him a hat-trick.

Bale almost scored, when a cross to the right was met by Matt Doherty’s well-timed run and he headed it back across goal, with Gareth’s shot blocked by Iliev, who closed him down quickly. It was a surprise when Harry Winks put in a cross from 56 yards out (according to the BT Sport boffins) that flew over the keeper as he strayed from his line. It took the commentators by surprise as much as Iliev.  Winksy looked suitably embarrassed, but claimed the goal none the less, with it being two years since his last for Tottenham (from somewhat nearer the goal-line !).

Ben Davies played Dele in inside the box and his shot hit the side-netting. Failing to play the ball out effectively, Spurs stole the ball with Hojbjerg shrugging off the Ludogorets man, with the ball running to Dele. His first time cross was taken down well by Vinicius on the penalty spot and with his back to goal, he lid it to his left for Moura to bend a shot past the keeper to make it 4-0.

Jose brought on Dane Scarlett and Harvey White to have a taste of first team action in a competitive game, while he replaced Joe Hart with Alfie Whiteman.  The first thing the keeper had to do was deal with a corner, which went straight to him, but he needed two goes to get it safely in his hands.  At the other end of the pitch, Harry Winks played a great ball over the defence to the left, where Scarlett took the ball down, but it ran away from him and the keeper blocked it. He didn’t give up and won the ball back, with it falling for White to smash a shot at goal that flew narrowly past the keeper’s right-hand post. As the clock reached 90 minutes, Vinicius flicked the ball past a defender to Scarlett, who couldn’t quite hit the target from the left at a narrow angle and the ball ran across goal out of the reach of White and Clarke.

The end result was a combination of a good team performance from Tottenham and being up against poor opponents, but you can only beat what’s in front of you and Spurs did that while also giving fringe and young players time on the pitch.  Dele, Vinicius and Winks all took their chance well, with Bale, Lucas, Doherty and Davies also played well, with Sanchez not having too much to do at the back.  Hart hardly touched the ball and was a virtual spectator … although I thought they were not allowed in !  Tanguy played very well, showing good progression in his return to form and Japhet Tanganga made a return from injury and that will be helpful with the heavy fixture list coming up in the next month or two.  And for Whiteman, White and Scarlett, it was a great experience to play in this competition.

Burton Bradstock



Coming on as a substitute, Dane Scarlett became Tottenham’s youngest ever player at 16 years and 247 days old.

Carlos Vinicius scored his first goals for Tottenham.



Other Europa League Results
CFR Cluj (ROM) 0 AS Roma (ITA) 2
CSKA Sofia (BUL) 0 Young Boys Bern (SWI) 1
Dundalk 1 Rapid Wien (AUS) 3
Molde (NOR) 0 Woolwich Wanderers 3
Bayer Leverkusen (GER) 4 Hapoel Beer Shava (ISR) 1
Nice (FRA) 1 Slavia Prague (CZE) 3
Standard Liege (BEL) 2 Lech Poznan (POL) 1
Glasgow Rangers (SCO) 2 Benfica (POR) 2
Granada (SPA)
2 Omonoia (CYP) 1
PSV Eindhoven (HOL) 3 PAOK (GRE) 2
Napoli (ITA) 2 Riejka (CRO) 0
AZ Alkmaar (HOL) 0 Real Sociedad (SPA) 0
Braga (POR) 3 Leicester City 3
AEK Athens (GRE) 0 Zorya Luhansk (UKR) 3
Sparta Prague (CZE) 4 Glasgow Celtic (SCO) 1
LOSC (FRA) 1 AC Milan (ITA) 1
Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) 1 Villarreal (SPA) 1
Qarabag (AZE) 2 Sivasspor (TUR) 3
LASK (AUS) 0 Royal Antwerp (BEL) 2
Wolfsberg (GER) 0 Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 3
CSKA Moscow (RUS) 0 Feyenoord (HOL) 0
Liberec (CZE) 0 Hoffenheim (GER) 2
Gent (BEL) 0 Red Star Belgrade (SER) 2


Group J Table

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points GD
Royal Antwerp 4 2 0 1 5 2 9 +3
THFC 4 3 0 1 10 2 9 +8
LASK 4 2 0 2 5 8 6 -3
Ludogorets 4 0 0 4 5 13 0 -8