Tottenham 2 Sheriff 1: Five things we learned

The north London hosts qualify for the knockout rounds of the Europa League with a victory at White Hart Lane.

Andre Villas-Boas made nine changes to the team that impressed in their 0-0 draw against Everton at the weekend, and his side beat Moldovan minnows FC Sheriff 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

With the game 0-0 at half-time, an Erik Lamela effort and a Jermain Defoe penalty proved the difference.

Here are five things we learned in Spurs’ victory.

Lamela shows what he is capable of

The Argentina international put in his best performance in a Tottenham shirt so far, and showed just why the north London side shelled out so much money on him.

Technically immaculate, the South American was obviously eager to impress and did so on a number of occasions.

Involved in both goals, his individual skill could be a real bonus once he starts to get involved more heavily in the Premier League.

Having Capoue back will be a real bonus

Etienne Capoue made an overdue comeback after picking up an injury in the north London derby, and reminded the home faithful of his abilities in the hour he got on the pitch.

His dynamism, drive and energy will be a key feature when he is fully fit and selected again, as his early season form before injury was very impressive.

Naughton doesn't take his chance

Jan Vertonghen tucked in to play centre-back, allowing Kyle Naughton another chance to put a claim forward for regular inclusion at left-back.

The former Sheffield United man is tidy and uncomplicated, but still looks to lack confidence. A solid enough performance without fully taking his chance, it remains to be seen where his future lies – another loan move and regular football to aid his development could be a good option in January.

Defoe needs games if he wants to go to the World Cup

The mercurial marksman became a Spurs record breaker with his second-half penalty, but in truth looked slightly off the boil.

Named in Roy Hodgson’s recent England squad, Defoe must consider his options in January if he wants to go to the World Cup. He needs regular football, and the game against Sheriff proved this as he was not his usual sprightly self.

Kaboul ready for Premier League inclusion

Another 90 minutes for Younes Kaboul will be a big benefit in his return from long-standing injury, and the France international put in a relatively solid performance alongside Vertonghen.

Villas-Boas will now deem the ex-Auxerre man ready to step out in the Premier League if needed, and the player needs games to prove he is worthy of a new contract.

image: © sachab

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