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Flawless Tottenham subdue Sheriff

FC Sheriff 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur FC
Jan Vertonghen and Jermain Defoe scored in each half as the visitors maintained their perfect record in Group K.

Jermain Defoe scored his fourth goal in three Group K games
Jermain Defoe scored his fourth goal in three Group K games ©Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur FC moved to the brink of qualification for the knockout stages with a 2-0 victory at FC Sheriff.

André Villas-Boas' men had won each of their previous Group K contests without conceding and they maintained both records as Jan Vertonghen and Jermain Defoe scored in either half to leave Moldovan side Sheriff still searching for a first success in the section.

The hosts made the early running but it was Spurs who struck first when Christian Eriksen's outswinging cross was met by a firm header into the bottom corner by the towering Vertonghen. Sheriff did not waver in their belief, however, and should have levelled when Luvannor Henrique broke through Tottenham's high back line and rounded Hugo Lloris, only to be denied by a flying goal-line block from Vlad Chiricheş.

Aaron Lennon was next to scamper clean through before being thwarted by Vjekoslav Tomić's outstretched boot, but Sheriff continued to find space in behind the Tottenham rearguard, with Ismail Isa's curling effort lacking the necessary bend to find the far corner. Henrique also swivelled and drilled over another presentable chance to cap a thrilling first period.

The second half proved to be a more measured affair, with the visitors content to hold onto their advantage and penetrate on the counterattack. Lennon came close to doubling their advantage with a weaving run and low strike against the upright before Defoe beat Tomić for his fourth goal in the group, a deflected drive from 25 metres after a piercing run from substitute Nacer Chadli.