Heung-Min Son's fifth goal in as many games was enough to earn Mauricio Pochettino's injury-hit charges the spoils as they get off the mark in Group E.
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Heung-Min Son's rich vein of form continued as his second-half goal earned depleted Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 victory in the first UEFA Champions Leagye game at the new Stadion CSKA Moskva.
Despite missing five first-team players, Tottenham started well and grew in confidence before Dele Alli's drive from distance rattled the crossbar.
The dominance grew after the break the visitors' pressure finally paid off on 71 minutes. Erik Lamela put Son through on goal and the 24-year-old got just enough on his shot to take it past Igor Akinfeev's despairing dive.
Akinfeev's almost decade-long wait for a UEFA Champions League clean sheet continues.
Key player: Heung-Min Son
The South Korean international is fast developing into one of the first name's on Mauricio Pochettino's team sheet, despite intense competition for places in midfield. Son was a constant livewire for Spurs, who were frustrated for long periods. However, he took one of the few clearcut chances in the game expertly, as he must hope he can remain in this kind of form for many more weeks to come.
Janssen fails to press claim
Pochettino was quick to point out the strength of his squad in the build-up, with the absence of Harry Kane a particular concern. Vincent Janssen worked hard but lacked the presence and finishing ability of the England international. The 22-year-old is still finding his feet at Spurs and has great potential, but he may not be the answer just yet if Kane is sidelined for a prolonged period.
Richard van Poortvliet (@UEFAcomRichVP)
Tottenham were fully deserving of their victory and they will be think they could have won by more. CSKA lacked imagination and tried to play on the counter despite lacking any players with pace that could have caused Spurs problems. In the end the Russian champions' defensive frailties were apparent once again as they conceded a relatively soft goal. It never looked like being any less than the winner.
Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs manager
I am delighted. First of all I want to thank the fans who travelled here. The performance was good. The game was tough but we deserved it. We are in the race for the next round.
Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
It was clear Tottenham would try to control the ball and that was the case. We were planning to defend relatively high and create chances through positional attacks. We were successful in this strategy at some points and had opportunities to score.
Unfortunately we sat deeper to our goal in the second half and you become tired after expending too much energy defending. We tried to equalise, had some chances, but it all ended the way it did. I can only thank my team for the commitment and effort they showed.