Harry Kane scored his first hat-trick for Tottenham before being forced to go in goal and fumbling the ball into his own net to complete a performance the young striker will never forget and one of the most remarkably eventful Europa League matches in recent memory. Kane’s hat-trick and a brilliant double by Erik Lamela handed Spurs a 5-1 win over Asteras Tripolis to get their first win in the Europa League this season. It was an evening that was marred only by Hugo Lloris’ late sending off which meant Kane going in goal and with his first effort with the gloves spilling Jeronimo Barrales’ free-kick into the net.
After draws against Partizan Belgrade and Besiktas, Spurs got a vital early breakthrough against the Greek visitors when Kane struck a precise effort into the bottom corner from 25 yards. But even in a contest as remarkable as this, there was little doubt as to the standout moment. Lamela struck a sensational first-time rabona goal form the edge of the box to leave even his teammates in a state of bemusement. The Argentine’s second goal scored midway through the second half wasn’t bad, either, before Kane went on to wrap up his hat-trick and then unfortunately but ultimately inconsequentially blot his copybook late on.
On the back of a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, Spurs badly needed a lift. Yet looking to get their hopes of making the Europa League knockout phase back on track faced no straightforward task against a visiting side that had taken four points from their first two matches in the competition. With Asteras happy to sit back and hit on the counter attack, getting a quick breakthrough was always going to be a major assistance. With 13 minutes gone, Kane, starting along with Emanuel Adebayor, provided it. The 21-year-old had already put one effort from distance just wide of the target when he fired in off the far post for his second Europa League goal this season.
While Asteras caused Tottenham’s defense problems on the break, the greater quality in the final third rested with the Premier League side. On 29 minutes Lamela emphasized that point spectacularly. The talented attacker has not had the best of times since his big-money move from Roma to Tottenham last summer. But anyone in doubt over his ability were treated to a genius example of why around £30 million was spent on bringing him to England. Ignoring the chance to strike with his weaker right foot, Lamela instead wrapped his left foot around his standing leg and struck an unstoppable effort into the net. Asteras goalkeeper Tomas Kosicky was far from the only one to be left stunned.
Lamela made it 3-0 after the interval with a goal that hardly surprisingly failed to match the brilliance of his first, but none the less had the mark of quality. After seeing his initial shot blocked, Lamela struck a textbook volley past Kosciky at his near post. Next it was time for Kane to take his share of the spotlight. First he showed his poaching instincts to follow up after Mousa Dembele’s shot was spilled following a poorly defended short corner. Then nine minutes from the end he headed home following a hung up cross by defender Federico Fazio.
His eventful night was not yet other, however. Lloris, who had earlier made a spectacular save to keep Asteras out, can perhaps count himself somewhat unfortunate to be shown red for unquestionably bringing down Anastasios Tsokanis down just outside his area, but with the Asteras man appearing to be heading away from goal. Perhaps buoyed by his goal-scoring exploits, Kane took the responsibility of replacing the Frenchman, with Spurs having already used all three substitutes. He may not be donning the gloves again anytime soon, though, after the hash he made of Barrales’ free-kick. Still, it could do nothing to take the shine off a fine night for he and his team.
All Goals – Tottenham 5-1 Asteras T. – 23-10-2014 by Strobner