Tottenham Hotspur take on Ludogorets in the fourth match day of Europa League Group J, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The North London side will put themselves in a very good position to qualify for the knockout stages with a win and will need just one point to qualify from their last game. Whereas, Ludogorets have to win tonight to avoid disqualification from the Europa League, as they have taken no points from their first three games. Spurs came out victorious by three goals to one, when these two battled it out in Bulgaria before the international break.
Tottenham make ten changes from the side that defeated Manchester City at the weekend, with only Tanguy Ndombele starting both matches, as Jose Mourinho looks to rest his stars ahead of Sunday’s decisive match against Chelsea. Japhet Tanganga makes his first appearance since the League Cup victory over Chelsea at the end of September and Dele starts for the first time since Mourinho’s side lost to Antwerp in the second group game.
Ludogorets have been struck by a string of COVID-19 cases leaving them without a number of players and not much training time . They line up in a 3-5-2 formation, as they look to avoid disqualification; Cosmin Moti captains the side from Centre-Back. Ludogorets make three changes from the defeat to Spurs last time out; Olivier Verdon replaces Georgi Terziev, Cauly Oliveira Souza replaces Dragos Grigore and Kiril Despodov replaces Elvis Manu in attack.
Tottenham get us underway in this match and will be looking to almost confirm their qualification into the knockout rounds.
5′ Tottenham Pressure!
As expected, Tottenham have been totally dominant in the early part of the match and Ludogorets have barely touched the ball, but they are defending resolutely.
Claudiu Keseru becomes the first player to go into the book. Although the yellow card does seem harsh as the ball struck his arm from a free-kick whilst his back was turned and he knew nothing about it.
Matt Doherty whips a dangerous cross into the box and Gareth Bale arrives late into the box, but the Welsh winger can’t quite direct his header on target.
Carlos Vinicius has his first goal for Spurs! Ndombele played the ball to Dele, who tried to slot Bale in, but the ball deflected off the defender and straight into the path of the Brazilian striker, who slotted home past the goalkeeper with ease. What a moment for the new striker!Embed from Getty Images
Vinicius sets the ball off to Bale who is waiting on the edge of the box, but the Welshman’s whipped shot flies just over the bar. He should have done better there with his ability.
Harry Winks picks up the ball around 25 yards out and tries to curl the ball into the top corner for his first goal in nearly two years, but the ball flies just wide of the goal.
Dele plays a brilliant chip over the defence to set Ben Davies in-behind, down the left-wing and cracks a shot at goal which rattles against the outside of the post and out for a goal-kick.
Vinicius has a second! Ndombele dribbles beautifully past three Ludogorets defenders with ease and forces a good save from the keeper, but Dele is there to follow-in and unselfishly squares the ball to Vinicius who couldn’t miss!Embed from Getty Images
39′ Ndombele brilliance!
The french midfielder is running rings around the Ludogorets midfield and they can’t live with him. The midfielder is showing off some brilliant skills to evade the tackles flying in.
Despodev becomes the second Ludogorets player to go into the book after his swinging arm catches Davies when he goes up for a header. It is the closest the Bulgarian side have got to Spurs all night.
Spurs have been completely dominant in that first half and haven’t given Ludogorets a sniff. The half was completely one-sided and Joe Hart was merely a spectator in his goal! Two strikes from Vinicius put Mourinho’s side in a commanding position and Ndombele has been completely running the midfield.
Ludogorets get us underway in the second half and Tottenham almost extend their lead instantly! Lucas collected the ball down the right-wing and chipped it into the box and Bale headed the ball across goal towards Vinicius, but it just evades the Brazilian.
51′ Spurs Booking!
Ndombele gives the ball away in midfield and puts in a reckless challenge on the Ludogorets midfielder to stop a counter-attack. The referee gives the Frenchman Spurs’ first yellow card of the game.
56′ Rare Ludogorets opportunity!
Ludogorets win a free-kick high up the pitch and they whip a dangerous ball across the box, but no one is able to connect with it and the cross evades everyone to go out for a goal-kick.
The ball is chipped down the right-wing for Doherty and the full-back headed the ball across the box to Bale, but the keeper smothered his shot well.Embed from Getty Images
The absolutely brilliant Ndombele is replaced by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in midfield; the Frenchman ran rings round Ludogorets throughout the night.
63′ What A Goal!
How has that gone in? Winks picks the ball up just inside the halfway line and hits the ball towards goal and somehow the ball goes off the crossbar and into the net! Only Winks will know if he meant that, but what a goal that was! 56 yards out! Despodov is replaced by Bernard Tekpetey for Ludogorets.
68′ Flurry of substitutions!
The flying Welshman Bale is replaced by young winger Jack Clarke for Spurs; Bale showed how his fitness is continuing to build more and more each week. Anciet Abel replaces Souza and Marvis Tchibota is brought on for the booked Keseru for Ludogorets, as they look for what seems like a consolation goal now.
That is four goals for Spurs and the game well and truly over! Hojbjerg and Dele press aggressively in midfield and win the ball back; Dele plays a delightful chip into Vinicius, who controls the ball and lays it off to Lucas who fires home past Plamen Iliev. That was a very well-worked goal from Spurs, who have scored four goals with ease.Embed from Getty Images
Clarke sets the ball back to Vinicius on the edge of the box and the Brazilian forward dummiest past one defender and looks set to get his hat-trick, but his shot is blocked.
Clarke does well to avoid being tackled in the box and manages to lay the ball back to Winks on the edge of the box, but the midfielder skies his shot over the bar.
81′ Triple substitutions!
Mourinho uses the comfortable scoreline to introduce some youngsters to the pitch! Goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman replaces Hart, young midfielder Harvey White replaces Dele and 16 year old Dane Scarlett replaces Lucas in attack; what a moment for the young man!
84′ Chances For Spurs!
Winks drifts the ball over the Ludogorets defence for Scarlett, who’s touch took the ball a bit too far away from him and he was denied a first Spurs goal by the keeper. Almost instantly Spurs have another chance; Scarlett wins the ball back and passes to White, who’s driven shot fizzes just wide of the post.
Dominik Yankov is replaced by Dimitar Mitkov and Ivan Yordanov comes on in place of Stephane Badji for Ludogorets, as they look to see the game out and avoid any further Spurs goals.
Vinicius produces some brilliantly play to put Scarlett in on goal, but the young striker is caught in two minds whether to pass or shoot and ends up squaring the ball across goal just out of White’s reach.
Hojbjerg clips the heels of the Ludogorets midfielder and he is too aggressive in the tackle, causing the referee to show him a needless yellow card.
That is a perfect night for Tottenham! Four goals and a clean sheet will have left Mourinho extremely pleased and Spurs require just one point from their last game to qualify for the next round. Goals from Vinicius (2), Lucas and an incredible goal from Winks from 56 yards out, gave Spurs a comfortable victory. Mourinho was able to provide debuts for Scarlett, White and Whiteman thanks to Spurs’ dominance. The North London side have now won their last five games in a row in all competitions and will be hoping to continue that on Sunday against Chelsea. Ludogorets have now lost all of their four games in their Europa League campaign and have been knocked out of the competition. They didn’t have the ideal build up to the match with many positive COVID-19 tests, which has impacted their training and left them without a number of players.