Giovani Lo Celso and Carlos Vinicius were on target as Tottenham beat Royal Antwerp 2-0 to top their group in the UEFA Europa League.

The first half was a cagey affair, with neither team able to create any clear-cut chances as Royal Antwerp were happy to sit back and keep their shape, knowing that a draw would be enough for them to finish as group winners. Carlos Vinicius had a good chance to score for Tottenham late in the half, but was denied by debutant Alireza Beiranvand.

Jose Mourinho’s team seemed to have found their rhythm after the break, though, and twelve minutes in, they broke the deadlock as Vinicius pounced on the rebound after Gareth Bale’s free-kick was saved by Beiranvand. Chances began to flow for the Lilywhites as Son Heung-min had a couple of shots saved while Steven Bergwijn was also denied.

However, Beiranvand could not do anything as Giovani Lo Celso slotted the ball into the net in the 71st minute after being played in by Harry Kane. Antwerp were unable to muster up a fightback as Tottenham held on for a victory and ended up winning Group J. Here’s how we rated the performances of the Spurs stars at home on Thursday.

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Joe Hart: 6/10

A spectator for the entirety of the game as Antwerp did not have a single shot on target on Thursday night. Will be happy to get a clean sheet after his poor game last week against LASK. Did misplace a number of his passes, though.

Japhet Tanganga: 7/10

Back into the starting XI, the Tottenham Hotspur academy product let little get past him on the night. Held his ground firmly, was strong in the air and looked to step out of the backline when the opportunity presented. Won three aerial duels, made one clearance and interception each. Good signs as he continues his return from injury.

Davinson Sanchez: 7/10

A much more comfortable outing for the Colombian in comparison to last week against LASK as Royal Antwerp hardly threatened on the night. A tiny slip-up allowed the visitors in with a chance, but recovered well and ended the game with three interceptions – most by any player, two clearances and three headed duels won.

Ben Davies: 6/10

There were a couple of occasions when he got caught out but, on the whole, the Welshman was generally solid, swept things up nicely and covered his flank well when Steven Bergwijn was introduced in place of Sergio Reguilon as the wing-back.

Matt Doherty: 6/10

A quiet outing for the Republic of Ireland international, who was not involved a great deal in the attacking sense, while he was not put to test defensively by the visiting team either. Still managed to stitch together a couple of key passes while also making an interception.

Harry Winks: 6/10

A bit of a middling performance from the England international, who had some good moments as he got stuck in and broke up play in the centre but was also bypassed easily at times. Kept things ticking well when in possession and played a key pass. Subbed off at the hour mark which left him furious as he headed straight down the tunnel.

Giovani Lo Celso: 8/10

Was the only source of creativity for Tottenham in what was a dull first half, showing intent and purpose each time he got on the ball. Embarked on a fine run, getting past a few opposition players, but could not beat the goalkeeper with his shot. Took his goal well to make it 2-0 in the second half.

Attempted (7) and completed the most number of dribbles (6), made a game-high four key passes, while also making three successful tackles on the night. A step in the right direction for Lo Celso as he looks to become a regular in the Premier League starting XI.

Sergio Reguilon: 5/10

Starting as the left-sided wing-back, the Spaniard did not enjoy the greatest of nights. Lost possession a couple of times in tricky areas, gave away silly fouls, while his end product was lacking. Subbed off at half-time with the Premier League game against Crystal Palace in mind.

Gareth Bale: 6.5/10

Tried to make things happen in the final third, showing some neat link-up play with his teammates. Delivered a fine free-kick that Beiranvand tipped onto the bar, only for Vinicius to score from the rebound. Taken off soon after, potentially hinting at a start at the weekend.

Carlos Vinicius: 7/10

Worked hard at the top in the first half even though things did not go his way always. There was some good interplay with the likes of Bale although it did not amount to much. Failed to capitalise when his big chance came along on the brink of half-time but showed good alertness to react to the rebound and tap it home to break the deadlock. Vinicius, now, has three goals and assists each in Europa League.

Lucas Moura: 7/10

Plenty of effort and endeavour from the Brazilian attacker as he dropped into the spaces between the lines and tried to set off his teammates. Played three key passes, also completed two dribbles and worked hard off the ball as always.


Steven Bergwijn: 6/10

Replaced Reguilon at half-time, livened things up in attack after a dour first half. Created a chance for Son and had a shot from distance saved by Beiranvand.

Harry Kane: 7/10

Replaced Vinicius a little before the hour-mark. Sent a header wide off the mark but got another assist to his name, setting Lo Celso up for the second goal. Missed narrowly late on after he created space for himself and had a shot.

Son Heung-min: 6/10

On for Bale soon after the opening goal. Bright spark as always, Son had a couple of shots saved.

Tanguy Ndombele: 5/10

Made an appearance after missing the derby with an injury. A couple of sloppy passes put his team under pressure.

Moussa Sissoko: 6/10

Replaced Moura in the 68th minute. Won the ball and started the move leading to Lo Celso’s goal

Comments 1

  1. COYS says:

    I think it’s time for people to stop cheering about Winks. When he first burst onto the 1st team scene, he was really positive with his passing, always going forward and looking thread the ball between defenders. Everyone thought he would be the next creative midfielder for us. But Poch changed him, and now he just does silly little passes to the person 3 metres away from him, normally always sideways (a la Scott Parker) and doesn’t offer enough defensively for the team. He is a sqaure peg trying to fit into a round hole.
    I’m not saying he isn’t a good player. He just isn’t right for Spurs, and hasn’t been for a long time now.

    Bale and Bergwijn both worry me. Every time they play, neither of them do anything outstanding. Bergwijn has amazing pace, physically very strong, and likes to be direct. Bale just looks like he is there for the ride, rather than being a driver of that ride. Come January I wouldn’t moan if Bale got sent back to RM. I’m no longer convinced of his 2nd coming. Bergwijn needs to find form, or go out on loan where he can play on a regular basis, ideally in the EPL, as I think he’ll be an amazing player if he can find that form.

    I hope Tanganga gets to play more. I believe he is likely to be as good as King was for us.

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