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Tottenham 3 Fiorentina 0 (4-1 agg): Spurs cruise into last 16

Tottenham secured a place in the last 16 of the Europa League after Ryan Mason and Erik Lamela scored in a 3-0 win over Fiorentina.

The Italian side had knocked Spurs out of the competition at the same stage a year earlier but Mason rounded off a slick passing move with a clinical finish to give Mauricio Pochettino’s men the lead.

La Viola showed glimpses of the form that has taken them to third place in Serie A this season, but they were undone a second time when Nacer Chadli’s second-half shot was saved and Lamela buried the rebound, before Gonzalo Rodriguez scored a late own goal to make it 4-1 on aggregate.

The result helped Tottenham banish the memory of their FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace, and keeps the north London side on course for their first European trophy since they lifted the UEFA Cup 1984.

An assured victory will have delighted Pochettino, who saw his side dominate despite the absence of top scorer Harry Kane, suggesting Spurs can balance their continental campaign with a tilt at the Premier League title.

The hosts had to overcome a rocky start, however, as Fiorentina pressed from the outset, but Marcos Alonso was fortunate not to give away a penalty when he appeared to block a Kieran Trippier cross with his arms.

Spurs gradually eased into the rhythm that has helped them claim five consecutive wins in the Premier League, and Eric Dier’s header from Lamela’s corner was almost turned in by Dele Alli as it whistled past the post after 10 minutes.

Christian Eriksen gave Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu his first test of the night a powerful 20-yard drive, and the game’s first goal soon followed.

After a sweeping move down the Spurs left, Alli squared to Mason, who scampered into the box and opened up his body to side-foot a shot low into the net under Tatarusanu.

The goal settled any nerves Spurs might have had and the home side dominated the rest of the first half, barring a Josip Ilicic free-kick that picked out Borja Valero but the Spaniard headed just wide at the near post.

Chadli had the ball in the net inside a minute of the restart, but the goal was ruled out for offside and Fiorentina proceeded to probe for an equaliser, but Hugo Lloris made an easy save from Valero before Spurs took the game away from Paulo Sousa’s men.

Eriksen broke out of midfield and fed Chadli, whose drive was well saved but Lamela collected the rebound and curled a brilliant left-footed shot beyond Tatarusanu.

The win was wrapped up when Trippier’s cross was met by the sliding Rodriguez who hooked the ball into the roof of his own net.

The only fly in the ointment on a fine evening for Spurs was a late yellow card for the outstanding Alli, who was cautioned for simulation and will be suspended for the first leg in the last 16.

Thu 25 Feb, 2016
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