90 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
Four minutes of added time to play. And Scarlett comes close again! Vinicius dinks a deft ball through the Ludogorets defence, the 16-year-old gets on the end of it and rolls the ball across the face of goal.
89 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
Two Ludogorets changes for the record: Yankov off for Mitkov and Badji off for Yordanov.
87 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
Dane Scarlett – born 24 March 2004 – is now Tottenham’s youngest ever player.
84 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
The Spurs kids are on the rampage! Scarlett latches onto the end of a cracking lofted ball from Winks but his first touch isn’t quite gentle enough and the keeper charges off his line to intercept. Scarlett wins the ball back though and it falls to White, who smashes it past the upright.
83 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
And would you believe it, Wightman is instantly called into more action than Hart was for the entire time he was on the pitch, coming off his line to catch a corner.
82 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
Hahahahahahaha, this is incredible from Mourinho. He’s bringing on sub keeper Alfie Whiteman for his Spurs debut! Harvey White also on. And 16-year-old Dane Scarlett is coming on!
Hart, Alli and Moura make way.
77 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
Time for an update on tonight’s shots: Tottenham 20 Ludogorets 0
76 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
Spurs players are queuing up to shoot now. Clarke is causing problems down the right, Vinicius wants a hat-trick, Ludogorets just want to go home.
75 min: Tottenham 4 Ludogorets 0
Breaking: Ludogorets just entered Tottenham’s penalty area.
They were then rapidly dispossessed but still… it’s a big achievement based on the past 75 minutes.
GOAL! Tottenham 4 (Moura) Ludogorets 0
Ludogorets pay the price for trying to do too much. They look to play the ball out from the back, lose it, and Alli sends the cross into Vinicius, who controls neatly, spots Moura unmarked behind him and lays off for the Brazilian to smash it past the keeper.
68 min: Tottenham 3 Ludogorets 0
Time for another Spurs change as Bale heads off for youngster Jack Clarke. Ludogorets also make a couple of changes with Cauly on for Anicet and Tchibota on for Keseru.
66 min: Tottenham 3 Ludogorets 0
Apparently the official distance for that Winks goal is 56 (FIFTY-SIX) YARDS!
65 min: Tottenham 3 Ludogorets 0
Winks looked a little sheepish so perhaps that was a total fluke. I’m sure he’ll be asked after the match.
GOAL! Tottenham 3 (Winks) Ludogorets 0
WAIT A SECOND!!!! What on earth has just happened????? Oh my God, Winks has just scored from all of 50 yards! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!?!?! He picks the ball up just inside his half on the left flank, looks up and pings it over the keeper. Was he looking for Bale at the far post or was it a shot? I have no idea. But it’s a spectacular goal!
61 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
Mourinho decides to make his first change of the night and it is Ndombele making way for Hojbjerg. Expect more substitutions to come.
58 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
Back come Spurs. Winks delivers a gorgeous lofted ball over the defence where Doherty nods back across goal. Bale manages to get a shot away, but Iliev has rapidly hared off his line to keep it out. Good goalkeeping.
56 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
Blimey, Tottenham have some defending to do! Tanganga cynically bundles Ikoko to the ground and Ludogorets have a free-kick about 35 yards from goal down the right. Can they work a first sight on goal? No. The delivery is deep to the back post and no one is there to get on the end of it, so it sails out for a goal kick. That’s as good as it’s got for the Bulgarians.
52 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
Petulance from Ndombele, who gives the ball away and then dives in to give away an unnecessary foul high up the pitch. The result is a yellow card.
50 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
Neat build-up play ends with Doherty hitting the byline and squaring dangerously across the goal, where it is turned behind for a corner just in the nick of time. The corner yields nothing.
48 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
It’s as you were, with Spurs camped deep inside Ludogorets’ half again. The game of attack v defence continues.
46 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
Somewhat surprisingly there are no half-time changes for Spurs. Or indeed Ludogorets.
And so close to an instant third goal as Moura floats in a ball to the far post, Bale rises highest to nod back across goal and Vinicius is inches away from tapping it in.
Half-time: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
A quiet end to one of the most one-sided halves of football I can ever remember seeing. It’s a wonder it’s only 2-0. It surely won’t stay that way.
43 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
Despodov is the second Ludogorets player to go into the book after leading with the arm in an aerial battle with Davies and whacking the Welshman in the face.
39 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
If you’re wondering, the shot count is: Tottenham 14 Ludogorets 0
37 min: Tottenham 2 Ludogorets 0
That was a cracking goal and displayed just how good Ndombele is.
GOAL! Tottenham 2 (Vinicius) Ludogorets 0
Absolute class from Ndombele, driving the ball between men from the halfway line all the way to the penalty area, where he hits a fine shot. That’s well saved by Iliev, but it’s only palmed as far as Alli who, incredibly unselfishly, squares to an unmarked Vinicius to tap into an empty net.
33 min: Tottenham 1 Ludogorets 0
My word, what a ping! Alli spots Davies in some space down the left and the Welshman knocks it in front of him before thundering a half-volley into the near post with serious force.
31 min: Tottenham 1 Ludogorets 0
“It’s like a training game,” says Glenn Hoddle on commentary. It’s pretty dull is what it is. Mind you, Spurs could do with scoring a second for all their dominance.
29 min: Tottenham 1 Ludogorets 0
Spurs are able to play the ball through central midfield with such ease. Their players just seem to have so much time and space to carve whatever route they want.
27 min: Tottenham 1 Ludogorets 0
Oh hello, Harry! Winks turns all of 30 yards from goal and unleashes a left-foot piledriver, which has Iliev diving to his left, but the ball passes the wrong side of the post.
21 min: Tottenham 1 Ludogorets 0
Bale looks to curl one in from the edge of the box, but plonks it on top of the goal instead.
Keep your trackies on Harry, have the night off…
20 min: Tottenham 1 Ludogorets 0
Vinicius is working hard off the ball, darting here and there along the Ludogorets defence. That first Spurs goal should do wonders for his confidence. Meanwhile, Bale looks for an early ball across the box, which is cut out.
18 min: Tottenham 1 Ludogorets 0
I‘m not convinced this is going to be an even vaguely competitive match.
GOAL! Tottenham 1 (Vinicius) Ludogorets 0
A big moment for Vinicius with his first Spurs goal. There’s a stroke of luck from Spurs’ perspective as Alli’s pass is deflected off a Ludogorets defender straight into Vinicius’ path. He takes it in his stride and cooly slots past the keeper from about 12 yards. Calmly tucked away.
13 min: Tottenham 0 Ludogorets 0
Nice movement from Vinicius across the edge of the box sees him work some space before a lovely touch from Moura’s throughball brings the ball down, but his shot is well wide. Alli then slashes hgh and wide from 25 yards. I’m not sure Ludogorets have put two passes together so far.
11 min: Tottenham 0 Ludogorets 0
This game is going to be a case of whether Spurs can break down a 10-man Ludogorets defence. Ndombele draws a foul with a neat shuffle 25 yards from goal. That means Bale can try a third early free-kick… this one deflects off the wall and loops onto the top of the net.
8 min: Tottenham 0 Ludogorets 0
Neat play in the middle of the pitch sees Alli find some space, but his reverse into the penalty area is cut out. Total one-way traffic.
6 min: Tottenham 0 Ludogorets 0
… in fact, Keseru has been yellow carded for handball from his position in the wall from that free-kick. Very harsh. It means Bale can have another attempt from 10 yards closer… but this time he fires over the crossbar.
5 min: Tottenham 0 Ludogorets 0
No chances yet for the hosts, but Ludogorets cannot get the ball under control and are camped deep in their own half.
Oh, it looks like Bale is going to have a crack from a free-kick about 40 yards from goal. This is madness! Up he steps… and thunders it into the wall.
3 min: Tottenham 0 Ludogorets 0
Ludogorets have been able to undertake little training in recent weeks due to an outbreak of coronavirus in the squad and they are right up against it from the outset here, Alli heavily involved in moving the ball upfield. Spurs have twice been penalised for offside.
1 min: Tottenham 0 Ludogorets 0
After a minute’s silence in memory of Diego Maradona, Spurs get things underway.
It won’t have escaped your attention that Harry Kane has been playing like an absolute god this season. So let Jason Burt explain how it has happened in this piece: Harry Kane is redefining the role of striker and thriving in Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham puzzle
Here is a snippet:
It is hard to think of another forward player who, combined, is so effective defensively; in midfield and yet still is so prominent in attack. In Tottenham’s impressive win over Manchester City at the weekend Kane was leading the number of tackles won, spent more time in his own half than City’s, did not have a shot on target, was booked and yet emphatically deserved to be named man of the match.
Spurs do cricket
If you’re a Spurs fan and you haven’t yet watched this then you should be disappointed in yourself. But do not wallow. Just watch it now. There’s also a full nine-minute version on Tottenham’s YouTube channel and yes, I have watched every second of it.
Hart v Kane is the sporting highlight of 2020. I cannot get enough of it.
So what to make of that Spurs team? Tanganga is back starting, as is Alli. Sanchez has a chance to impress and Vinicius will be desperate to show he’s got goals in him.
Runners and riders
Tottenham: Hart, Alli, Bale, Vinicius, Davies, Doherty, Lucas Moura, Ndombele, Sanchez, Tanganga, Winks. Subs: Aurier, Austin, Clarke, Dier, Hojbjerg, Kane, Reguilon, Scarlett, Sissoko, Son, White, Whiteman.
Ludogorets: Iliev, Abel, Badji, Despodov, Grigore, Ikoko, Keseru, Moti, Nedyalkov, Verdon, Yankov. Subs: Damyanov, Manu, Mitkov, Cauly, Josue Sa, Stoyanov, Tchibota, Tekpetey, Terziev, Yordanov.
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (Georgia)
It was not long ago that these two sides last met: three weeks, to be precise. On that occasion it produced a rather simple Spurs victory.
The scoreline from that that match in Bulgaria was actually only 3-1 in Tottenham’s favour but it was the kind of 3-1 that never looked like being any closer and could really have been any number. Here’s what Jose Mourinho had to say afterwards: “We didn’t need to play very, very well. We did what we needed to do.”
Having lost the week before against Royal Antwerp, Mourinho took no risks on that trip to Bulgaria and selected a strong side. Was it that which produced the facile victory or are Ludogorets just not very good?
Well, they currently sit bottom of their Europa League table with three defeats from three games, while Spurs are top on goal difference. Let’s be honest – tonight should not be very taxing for Tottenham.
There were two main pieces of information to come out of Mourinho’s pre-match press conference yesterday. Firstly, Toby Alderweireld is out due to an adductor injury suffered against Manchester City last weekend, but it is not as bad as first thought. Mourinho said he had feared the defender would be out for a month, but now reckons it will be “two to four weeks”.
There had also been some doubts over this match even taking place, with reports in Bulgaria suggesting some Ludogorets players had tested positive for coronavirus. But Mourinho said that wasn’t the case:
According to my information, that’s not true. The problems they had were immediately after the game we played there. They have had one more game after that, which they won, then the international break.Of the team that comes, I believe only two players who played against us are not playing. Apart from that, the other nine are in the list and ready to play. I don’t understand the news, there is a big contradiction between the news and the information we have.
Source: The Telegraph Travels