Son Heung-min scored twice as Tottenham beat Red Star Belgrade 4-0 on Wednesday to end their barren away run and close in on a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Tottenham kick-started their Group B campaign with a 5-0 triumph when the sides met in London two weeks ago and were again comfortable winners at Rajko Mitic Stadium on Wednesday.
Giovani Lo Celso’s maiden goal for the club was added to by a second-half double from Son, who started for Tottenham just three days on from being left distraught by a challenge that preceded Andre Gomes’ horrific injury in the 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton.
A late fourth was provided by Christian Eriksen as Tottenham won away for the first time since May 8 to move four points ahead of their opponents with two games to play.
Paulo Gazzaniga denied Milan Pavkov with his outstretched leg and that proved to be an important save as Tottenham were ahead 11 minutes later.
A crazy scramble saw Harry Kane’s toe-poke hit the post, Son’s follow up blocked on the line and Kane’s next shot turned against the crossbar by Son from a few yards out, but Lo Celso controlled the loose ball and fired home.
Tottenham survived another scare before half-time as Gazzaniga tipped Rajiv van La Parra’s drive onto the post and Davinson Sanchez inadvertently diverted the ball onto the crossbar in the ensuing melee.
However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side soon took control of the match and added a third on the counter 12 minutes into the second half through Son’s powerful strike past Milan Borjan at his near post.
Son, whose red card for the foul on Gomes last weekend was rescinded on Tuesday, doubled his personal tally three minutes later when turning in Danny Rose’s cross from Tottenham’s left.
Eriksen rounded off the scoring five minutes from time, the substitute holding off his marker before beating Borjan with the aid of a deflection.
What does it mean? Spurs getting up to speed after slow start
Bayern Munich made certain of a place in the next round with victory over Olympiacos in the early kick-off and Tottenham are now strong favourites to join them.
Having taken one point from the first six on offer, it is now two wins on the spin in Europe for Pochettino’s men – and they can qualify with victory at home to Olympiacos later this month.
Lo Celso takes his chance
Not helped by a hip injury, Lo Celso has been restricted to six substitute appearances since arriving from Real Betis in August but impressed on his full debut.
The Argentina international showed great composure amid the mayhem around him to score the opener, making it six goals in eight European outings stemming back to last season’s Europa League campaign.
Marin kept quiet for hosts
Marko Marin created six chances in Red Star’s 5-0 loss in the English capital, but he struggled to get involved in this latest tussle.
He had 51 touches of the ball but did not play a single key pass, which is credit to Tottenham’s holding midfielders for regularly closing him down.
Key Opta facts
– Red Star suffered their heaviest home defeat in European Cup/Champions League history.
– Tottenham have now scored in each of their last 13 Champions League away games – only Chelsea (13 between March 2000 and April 2005) can match such a run by English sides in the competition.
– Spurs have become the first English team to beat Red Star away from home in a Champions League/European Cup tie.
– Son has scored five goals in just four Champions League appearances this season, netting in three straight games for the first time in his career.
– Giovani Lo Celso has scored his sixth goal in his last eight appearances across the Europa League/Champions League, though this was his first for Tottenham.
Tottenham return to Premier League action on Saturday with a home match against Sheffield United, while Red Star are in domestic action against Javor Ivanjica on Sunday.
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