Sep 17, 2015 at 8.05pm UK at ​White Hart Lane
SpursTottenham Hotspur
3-1
Qarabag FKQarabag FK
Heung-min (28', 30'), Lamela (86')
Alli (87')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Almeida (7' pen.)
Medvedev (84'), Sehic (85'), Sadiqov (87'), Michel (91')

Match Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Qarabag FK

Match Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Qarabag FK
© Getty Images
Sports Mole takes a look back at the key talking points from Tottenham Hotspur's 3-1 Europa League win over Qarabag FK.

Tottenham Hotspur have made the perfect start to their Europa League campaign by coming from behind to beat Qarabag FK 3-1 at White Hart Lane.

Richard opened the scoring for the visitors from the spot in the seventh minute, but Spurs bounced back to claim the win thanks to a Son Heung-min brace and a late strike from Erik Lamela.

Below, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the key talking points from the Group J clash.

Match statistics

SPURS
Shots: 18
On target: 8
Possession: 53%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 4

QARABAG
Shots: 12
On target: 4
Possession: 47%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 11

Was the result fair?

Spurs certainly did enough to collect all three points in their Group J opener, despite not being at their best in North London. The home side were taken by surprise when Qarabag started so strongly, and a shock result always looked to be a possibility as the visitors defended well and remained organised throughout the match. However, it was the quality in attacking areas which proved to be key on a night when Spurs relied on the likes of Son and Dele Alli in the final third of the pitch. As the statistics suggest, Mauricio Pochettino will want his side to keep the ball better against sides looking to frustrate his attack but they always appeared to have enough in the tank against the Azerbaijani champions.

Tottenham's performance

Good, but not perfect. That is the simple way to describe how Spurs performed after Pochettino made a number of changes to his side as he prepared for a game they were expected to win comfortably. The home side's problems were clear when they often struggled to retain possession as Qarabag dropped deeper, which put the pressure on Eric Dier and Tom Carroll to start attacks from deeper positions. In truth, the way Spurs lost the ball so often should have been a concern for Pochettino, who watched his team gift too many opportunities to break to the visitors.

Despite struggling to kill the game off, there were plenty of positives to take from what became a comfortable win. Alli excelled in the area behind the lone striker, and it was his direct running and clever passing which caused Qarabag most of their problems. On his home debut, Son quickly became a fan-favourite with his work-rate and attacking instincts in the box, and his ability to link with Alli on a regular basis was key.

It was not the perfect performance, with some fringe players struggling to make the impact they would have liked but Pochettino should take confidence from the fact that Spurs were able to record the win with so many regular starters missing from the lineup.

Qarabag's performance

Not much was expected from the visitors, but admirable performances against Celtic and a fine win over Young Boys in qualifying should have proved that they were dangerous opposition. Gurban Gurbanov's side stuck to their gameplan well, and their refusal to be too conservative ensured that they were always a threat on the break. Unfortunately, the likes of Dani Quintana and Reynaldo lacked the quality needed to punish mistakes from Spurs and better players may have secured more than the one goal.

The performance in arguably the toughest trip in Group J should hand a boost to the squad as they look to cause a shock by upsetting Spurs, Anderlecht and Monaco to reach the knockout stage. A lack of creativity in midfield proved to be the key issue in the second half as they often enjoyed possession in the middle of the pitch without turning Tottenham's central defenders the other way on too many occasions. Returning to a familiar 4-4-2 formation should make a difference as the group progresses, and a better final product should help them upset at least one side.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Dele Alli: Son certainly deserves the headlines after marking his home debut with a brace, but Alli was the best player on the pitch from the first whistle. The 19-year-old benefited from Son's energy in front of him as he showed his desire to go beyond the striker on a regular basis. Alli was always a threat with his trickery and clever passing, and it was another reminder of his undoubted potential.

Biggest gaffe

Before expressing his relief while celebrating his late goal, Lamela had the opportunity to extend Tottenham's advantage prior to the interval. Townsend spotted his teammate's run with a clever chipped pass, but the Argentine capped a disappointing first-half display by losing control with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Referee performance

Adrien Jaccottet was right to point to the spot when Trippier fouled Ansi Agolli inside the box early on, and the Swiss official avoided any moments of controversy on a routine night at the office.

What next?

Spurs: Pochettino's side will target a second successive Premier League win when Crystal Palace visit White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.

Qarabag: The Azerbaijani champions return to domestic action against Kapaz on Sunday and they will host Anderlecht in their second Europa League fixture on October 1.

Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur scores their first goal during the UEFA Europa League Group J match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Qarabag FK at White Hart Lane on September 17, 2015
Read Next:
Half-Time Report: Son spares Trippier's blushes
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1211104073334
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd128222762126
3Chelsea1281323101325
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs127232091123
5Liverpool126422417722
6Arsenal127142216622
7Burnley12642129322
8Watford125341921-218
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124441313016
10Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12435817-915
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124261114-314
12Leicester CityLeicester123451618-213
13Bournemouth124171114-313
14Southampton12345914-513
15Stoke CityStoke123451524-913
16Everton123361224-1212
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom12246918-910
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham122371125-149
19Swansea CitySwansea12228715-88
20Crystal Palace12129624-185