Tottenham back on track in Europe with 5-0 rout of Red Star
LONDON (AP) — Tottenham enjoyed all the goals this time as it went from its heaviest home European loss to its biggest Champions League win.
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane both scored twice and Erik Lamela also netted in a 5-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday to lift the gloom at Tottenham.
It came three weeks after the humiliation of a 7-2 loss to Bayern Munich for last season’s finalist.
Having also thrown away a 2-0 lead to draw their Group B opener to Olympiakos, Spurs are back on track in Europe. They moved to second place, a point ahead of Red Star but five behind Bayern Munich, which beat Olympiakos 3-2.
“It’s exactly what we needed to do,” Kane said after making it 18 goals in 22 Champions League appearances. “We know we’ve been in a tough run of results and it was the perfect way to respond.”
It isn’t just in Europe where Tottenham has struggled until Tuesday.
With only one win in his last four Premier League games, manager Mauricio Pochettino even expressed doubts over his Tottenham future.
Tottenham fans reminded the club’s leadership “He’s magic” in chants as the goals flowed against Red Star.
Pochettino was helped by a fellow Argentine.
It was a corner from Lamela that Kane headed in after nine minutes and he provided the cross that Son ran onto before finishing with a half volley in the 16th minute.
Son was on target again in the 44th, with Tanguy Ndombele slipping the ball through to the South Korea forward, who beat goalkeeper Milan Borjan at his near post.
“It’s been a tough time,” Son said. “We need to stick together.”
This was not a night when Tottenham was going to surrender a winning position.
Not after the fourth goal came in the 57th minute.
Kane won the ball in midfield before playing in Serge Aurier on the right flank. The right back crossed to Lamela who netted on the turn to mark his 200th Tottenham appearance with a goal.
The Serbian champions offered little resistance in defense.
Kane had time to control Ndombele’s pass in the penalty area before slipping in the fifth goal in the 72nd minute.
“We were ruthless in front of goal today,” Kane said, “which we need to do more often.”
It seemed a rare day when everything went smoothly but it came a month after a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace provided a platform to build on that was never seized.
“It’s a great moment to grow, be more mature,” Pochettino said. “It should help us to be stronger in the future.”
Tottenham heads to Liverpool on Sunday 13 points behind the Premier League leaders after nine games.