It was the perfect evening for Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho. He saw his side edge closer to qualification to the Europa League knockout stages after dominating Bulgarian side Ludogorets in a 4-0 win, and all while resting the likes of Harry Kane, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Son Heung-Min.
Tottenham dominated the game from start to finish and could, and probably should, have registered a bigger score. Carlos Vinicius scored his first and second goals for the club and he then set up Lucas Moura for Tottenham’s fourth to cap a memorable evening, while Harry Winks added another with an extraordinary effort from range.
It’s now five wins in five for Mourinho’s men in all competitions.
With so many big games looming for Spurs, Mourinho will be delighted to have won without using his stars. He will also have enjoyed Dele Alli’s performance, the attack midfielder looking lively and in the thick of the action as he created two of Tottenham’s goals.
Spurs took their foot off the gas at one point in the second half and Mourinho showed what he thought of things by making changes at the hour mark.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — Mourinho will be delighted with his evening’s work. Alli enjoyed a return to form, while some of his younger squad players were given valuable game time. It wasn’t the perfect performance, but it was the perfect outcome – and a clean sheet too.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Joe Hart, 5 — The former England keeper will never have so little to do again. He was so quiet that he hardly even needed to move!
DF Matt Doherty, 7 — The right-back returned following his COVID-19 quarantine and he made a number of attacking runs behind the Ludogorets defence. Set up Bale for one glorious chance in particular with a perfectly timed run and cushioned header.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 6 — The centre-back didn’t have a busy evening, but he certainly made sure of his challenges. Was sometimes slightly overzealous in the tackle, which resulted in needless free-kicks.
DF Japhet Tanganga, 6 — He held the line well and looked impressive at the heart of the defence. Looks to have formed a good understanding with Sanchez.
DF Ben Davies, 6 — Davies hit the outside of the post with a half-volley inside the area midway through the first half before getting a stray arm in the face before the break. Was always looking to break forward and positive in his play.
MF Tanguy Ndombele, 6 — Ndombele was everywhere in the first half, recovering the ball all over the pitch and running forwards with intent. One particular mazy and powerful run and shot led to Plamen Iliev palming the ball into Alli’s path for the second goal. He was sloppy in the second period, though, and was substituted.
MF Harry Winks, 8 — Winks came close with his left foot from range in the first half, and then scored with what looked like an extraordinary mis-hit cross from 56 yards in the second. He contributed some lovely teasing play around the box.
MF Dele Alli, 7 — Needs a goal and his first effort of the game finished high and wide. However, he was selfless in the build-up to Spurs’ second. He followed up on a rebound and instead of shooting, he feigned to strike before pulling the ball back across the face of goal for Vinicius to tap home. All in all, a return to form.
MF Gareth Bale, 6 — Looked dangerous from long range and will feel unlucky not to have found the net. He forced Plamen Iliev into a good save from close range, and looks to be edging back to his best.
MF Lucas Moura, 6 — Moura showed plenty of energy and was busy around the box, but his passing was often wasteful in possession. His timing was simply off tonight, though he added some gloss to the scoreline with Tottenham’s fourth goal.
FW Carlos Vinicius, 7 — Netted his first and second goals for the club. For the first, he opened up his body well and sent the keeper the wrong way after picking up a failed clearance. His second was a simple tap in following Dele Alli’s neat pass. He later set up Moura for Tottenham’s fourth, and came close to netting a hat-trick.
MF Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, 5 (replaced Ndombele, 61″) — The former Saints man was very eager to please and even with the game won he went into every challenge wholeheartedly. Picked up a needless booking at the death.
FW Jack Clarke, 6 (replaced Bale, 68″) — Clarke looked busy on the right-hand side and he didn’t put a foot wrong. He kept possession well and did the simple things.
FW Dane Scarlett, N/R (replaced Moura, 82″) — Made an excellent run after coming on but couldn’t quite get the ball under his feet when through on goal. He came close again in injury-time, but couldn’t quite get the angle right.
MF Harvey White, N/R (replaced Alli, 82″) — Showed great energy and had a shooting chance within minutes of coming on, dragging his effort wide for what would have been a memorable first touch.
GK Alfie Whiteman, N/R (replaced Hart, 82″) — The 22-year-old Spurs fan and third-choice goalkeeper was awarded his Spurs debut with eight minutes left on the clock and claimed the ball confidently within a minute of coming on.