While Tottenham would have wanted to have seen their name in Thursday’s Champions League group stage draw, they did at least manage to extend on their own European adventure.
Despite suffering a shock 1-0 first-leg defeat out in Portugal last week, Spurs completed what was a rampant turnaround in North London as they breezed their way to a 3-0 romp against Paços de Ferreira.
Putting their name in Friday’s hat and still tipped as one of the standout contenders in this year’s inaugural Conference League, the Lilywhites will be watching closely with the draw scheduled to start at 12:30 BST.
On a night that saw Nuno Espírito Santo’s side put on a real show in front of a packed-out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we have taken a look at the major talking points.
Kane marks his return with a flurry
While Tottenham might have opened Thursday’s meeting facing what could have been a real banana skin following their first-leg defeat, there is no doubt that the return of Harry Kane stole most of the headlines.
Involved in what became the transfer saga of the summer, Spurs’ attacking icon announced on Wednesday, via his social media pages, that he would be staying in North London this season, despite continued interest from Manchester City.
Appearing to be focused on starting a new adventure under Nuno, the England skipper marked his return to Tottenham’s starting XI on Thursday night and was even rewarded with the captain’s armband.
Only needing just 20 seconds to almost open the scoring following a long ball from summer arrival Cristian Romero, it eventually took Kane just nine minutes to get his first Spurs goal of the 2021/22 campaign.
At his clinical best and showing no signs of fatigue after his exploits with England over the summer, the 28-year-old wasn’t done there as he pounced on some sluggish Paços defending 10 minutes before the break.
Tapping home and bagging himself a brace on his return, Kane received a standing ovation on what would have been an emotional night for their hometown superstar.
Lo Celso & Gil impress
While Kane’s return to Tottenham’s starting XI might take most of the headlines, the England skipper wasn’t the only Spurs player who impressed on Thursday night.
Making the move to North London last month as Nuno’s side agreed a £21.6million deal with Sevilla that also saw Erik Lamela go in the opposite direction, the exciting Bryan Gil gave Tottenham fans a taste of what’s to come.
Handed a home debut in the capital, the Spanish starlet was a constant threat in the final third and really shined as he found himself pulling the strings from between the lines.
Pulling the ball back to Kane as the England skipper opened the scoring with under 10 minutes on the clock, Gil almost came close to bagging his own debut goal as he saw chances go close on either side of the break.
Getting the Tottenham fans off their feet with his energetic approach, the 20-year-old also impressed with his performance alongside Man of the Match contender, Giovani Lo Celso.
Failing to make a Premier League start under the former Wolves boss since opening the 2021/22 campaign, the Argentinian play-maker dominated the midfield battle and managed to wrap up the game with 20 minutes left.
Whipping in his free-kick dangerously across the face of goal, defender Pacheco Antune could only get a telling glance as it whistled into the net and completed a rampant Tottenham performance.
Mission Impossible for Paços
Watching Tottenham make the trip out to Portugal for their first-leg meeting with a starting XI that had made a host of changes, Paços de Ferreira really capitalised on their chance as they landed a shock 1-0 victory seven days ago.
However, despite traveling to North London on Thursday night holding the most marginal of advantages, Jorge Simão’s side failed to complete what would have been branded as a real European giant-killing.
With Kane dragging Spurs onto level terms with just nine minutes on the clock, the Beavers failed to get much of a foothold in proceedings and were lucky to have entered the break with the scoreline just at 2-0.
Failing to gain much preparation earlier in the week as they were hit with a 3-1 defeat against Estoril on Primeira Liga duties, the one-time Braga boss saw his side fail to lay any kind of blow on their Premier League opponents.
Not managing to ask any real questions of Tottenham’s summer arrival Pierluigi Gollini between the sticks, Simão will know that if Spurs had been more clinical on the night they could have left on the wrong end of a real drumming.
Tottenham: Gollini (5), Doherty (6), Romero (7), Dier (6.5), Davies (6.5), Lo Celso (9), Winks (8), Gil (8.5), Moura (8), Kane (9), Sessegnon (6.5)
Subs: Bergwijn (7), Son Heung-Min (6.5), Dele (6), Højbjerg (7.5)
Paços de Ferreira: Ferreira (3), Silva (4.5), Costa Baixinho (4), da Silva Ramos (4.5), de Brito Gonzaga (4), Pacheco Antunes (3), Delgado (5), Guerra Pires (5.5), Eustáquio (4.5), da Silva de Jesus (5.5), Pereira Junior (4)
Subs: Ferreira Fonseca (5), Castro Ferreira (5), Valente Santos (5.5), Silva de Jesus (5), Da Silva Souza (5.5)
Goals: Kane 9′, 34′, Lo Celso 70′
Yellow Cards: Tottenham: Romero, Gil – Paços de Ferreira: Pacheco Antunes, Guerra Pires, Pereira Junior
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Ruddy Buquet
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