Gareth Bale got a goal and an assist as he marked his return to the starting lineup by playing a key role in Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Wolfsberger.
Spurs are looking to go far in the Europa League this season and Austrian side Wolfsberger are the first obstacle they have to overcome in the knockout stages.
Jose Mourinho’s side began to make light work of their opposition in the first half, building up a three-goal lead before half-time.
Wolfsberger had their moments in the second half, but Spurs still finished the game with a healthy advantage.
The match provided Dele Alli with a rare opportunity to start for Tottenham, while Bale also featured from the first minute.
Bale played a role in the opening goal, which came after 13 minutes. Lucas Moura spread the play for Matt Doherty, whose crossed was diverted by Bale into the path of Son Heung-min.
Son provided the finishing touch to give Spurs a crucial early away goal. It also brought up Bale’s first assist for Tottenham since his return to the club.
After setting up the first goal, things got even better for Bale when he scored the next one himself.
Receiving the ball on the right-hand side of the box, he cut back to send his marker flying, before firing in a left-footed shot to double the lead after 28 minutes.
Wolfsberger still had plenty of time to catch Spurs out, though. Hugo Lloris was forced into a great save when he tipped Dario Vizinger’s header onto the bar shortly after.
But at the other end, Tottenham asserted their dominance again by getting a third goal in the 35th minute.
Moura cut in between four defenders before sending the goalkeeper the wrong way as he finished with his right foot.
Run, Lucas Moura, Run! 💨🍃
Sensational solo work from the Tottenham star 👏
What a run! pic.twitter.com/l8JHQIKQDH
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 18, 2021
Wolfsberger provide tougher test after break
Wolfsberger got themselves a foothold in the game when they won a penalty in the 55th minute. Moussa Sissoko clipped Christopher Wernitznig in the box.
Michael Liendl took a slow run up but Lloris dived the wrong way, so couldn’t prevent the ball going in.
Wolfsberger were milimetres away from pulling another goal back when Liendl hit the bar with another effort. The ball dropped onto the goalline, but did not cross it.
Tottenham restored their three-goal cushion in the 88th minute, when three substitutes combined. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg crossed the ball, before Erik Lamela’s header was diverted into the goal by Carlos Vinicius to round off the 4-1 win.
It means Mourinho’s men will be through unless Wolfsberger can score four when they meet again next week.