Attacking midfielders impress but star striker struggles to make an impact once again
The Arctic Circle might not be the easiest place to go to when you've already qualified for the next round and haven't scored many goals in recent weeks, and so it proved as Tottenham struggled to breach an overly defensive opponent for much of the match. It was the same old story as they had plenty of the ball, but few clear chances, before finally netting through an own goal and a Moussa Dembele strike.
Tottenham Hotspur Player Ratings:
Brad Friedel 6/10 - The veteran goalkeeper had almost nothing to do in the match, so it's hard to penalise him for anything. Looked generally solid though did put one goal kick out of play.
Kyle Naughton 6/10 - Had a very average game, will be disappointed not to have gotten forward more. Will also be hoping Spurs stay in Europe as long as possible as they are the only games he will be getting. Switched to left-back when Jan Vertonghen came on.
Zeki Fryers 5/10 - Had a difficult game up against the Tromso right sided players. Also frustrated Soldado with several spurned chances to cross. Jan Vertonghen came on for him in the second half, and the ex-Man Utd player may end up going out on loan for the second half of the season as games will be harder to come by in the knockout stages.
Michael Dawson 6/10 - Didn't look as comfortable as he should have done, getting caught out in the first minute by Zdenek Ondrasek who shot just wide. Booked for a cynical foul on the striker early in the second half.
Vlad Chiriches 7/10 - Continued to look comfortable on the ball as he brought the ball out of defence. May well end up taking Dawson's place in the team by the end of the season alongside Vertonghen, in what may be the classiest central defence in the league.
Eteinne Capoue 7/10 - The Frenchman also looked strong in the middle of the park, but lacked the ability to make that incisive forward pass. When Moussa Dembele started to push forward later in the second half the midfield looked more fluid.
Moussa Dembélé 8/10 - As always carried the ball well and looked like a cultured player, got his first goal of the season and followed that by nearly getting his second as he hit the post a minute later. Frustrating that he can't get forward consistently in League games to give the side more of an attacking threat.
Andros Townsend 8/10 - Very much Tottenham's most dangerous player in the first half, regularly making space with his skill and having several threatening shots. A little quieter after the break, but still looks like the most natural winger the club have.
Nacer Chadli 6/10 - Should have done much better when running onto a Sigurdsson through ball in the first half. Struggled to get into the game as much as the Icelander and Townsend, and Spurs looked a better team once Lewis Holtby came on.
Gylfi Sigurdsson 8/10 - MOTM - Displayed some great touches and passed the ball well. Won the free kick for the opening goal, crossing it for Chiriches and Causevic to convert, and also set up Dembele for the second with some excellent movement and passing. Him and Chadli exchanged places somewhat while the Belgian was on the pitch, and Sigurdsson came out looking much the more versatile and influential player.
Roberto Soldado 6/10 - Was heading for a 5 until an outstanding piece of skill just before half time provided the only thing of note in the first 45. Getting easier and easier to feel sorry for the frontman after his teammates repeatedly turned back away from crossing positions that he could have attacked. Booked for a sloppy challenge on Tromso captain Bendiksen. Can't help feeling that it will take a complete tactical overhaul to see the player that convinced Spurs to shell out £26 million.
Jan Vertonghen (71') 6/10 - Came on with the game pretty much won and looked settled in his favourite central position.
Lewis Holtby (72') 6/10 - Looked lively when he came on and played a part in the second goal. Plays well in games against weaker teams and really needs to influence Spurs' tougher fixtures to make a longer term claim to a place.
Erik Lamela (78') 5/10 - Had little chance to impress but showed some nice touches. Does the fact he started on the bench mean he'll start against United?
image: © Denise&David