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Soldado flourish maintains Spurs's flawless run

Published: Thursday 12 December 2013, 22.55CET
Tottenham Hotspur FC 4-1 FC Anji Makhachkala
Roberto Soldado's hat-trick helped Spurs to finish Group K with maximum points, though Ewerton's goal had given the visitors a glimmer of hope.
by Philip Atkinson
from White Hart Lane
Soldado flourish maintains Spurs's flawless run
Roberto Soldado celebrates after scoring the opening goal ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 12 December 2013, 22.55CET

Soldado flourish maintains Spurs's flawless run

Tottenham Hotspur FC 4-1 FC Anji Makhachkala
Roberto Soldado's hat-trick helped Spurs to finish Group K with maximum points, though Ewerton's goal had given the visitors a glimmer of hope.

A 4-1 win against Group B runners-up FC Anji Makhachkala sent Tottenham Hotspur FC through to the UEFA Europa League with a perfect 18-point haul.

Roberto Soldado scored twice in the first 20 minutes to put the hosts in control, and although Anji rallied briefly around Ewerton's goal just before half-time, a win was never in doubt for André Villas-Boas's men. It was duly confirmed with Lewis Holtby's beautifully taken third goal and Soldado's penalty, which sealed the Spaniard's hat-trick.

Soldado broke his recent dry spell in front of goal by flicking in Gylfi Sigurdsson's tightly whipped-in free-kick on seven minutes. It took him only another eight minutes to score again, Erik Lamela the provider this time with a delightfully deft through ball that took out three defenders.

That second goal was Tottenham's 350th in UEFA competition, and the 351st could easily have come before half-time. Kamil Agalarov cleared one goal-bound effort off the line, before Andros Townsend spurned another glorious opportunity, having been put clean through by Soldado. Despite the odd attack from the Russian visitors, the hosts dominated.

That all looked like changing shortly before the interval, though, as Ewerton, one of Anji's two Brazilians, pulled a goal back for the Russian side to give their small but enthusiastic band of supporters something to celebrate and change the atmosphere markedly at the break.

Anji took that impetus into the second half, starting brightly, but Tottenham were soon 3-1 up with the pick of the goals on the night, Holtby calmly but cleverly juggling Townsend's dinked through ball before lobbing Evgeni Pomazan delicately. Tottenham had several more chances in the second half, and Soldado finally completed his hat-trick after Ryan Fredericks was felled in the box.

Last updated: 14/12/13 0.08CET

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