Tottenham Hotspur vs Dinamo Zagreb

Another two goals from Harry Kane gives Tottenham the advantage in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie against Dinamo Zagreb.

These teams last met in 2008, with the Premier League outfit winning 4-0.

A hat-trick from Darren Bent, along with a young Gareth Bale starting at left-back that night, saw the home side victors in this same competition.

Midfielder Luka Modric also played that night, against the club in which Spurs signed him from that summer for almost £20 million.

13 years on, and the second match-up in the history of these clubs came in the Europa League Round of 16 stages, with the first leg held in North London.

With the derby against Arsenal fast approaching, Jose Mourinho made seven changes to the starting XI that prevailed against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Lloris, Sanchez, Kane and Heung-Min Son were the only players to keep their place.

Zagreb had the likes of Mislav Orsic, who scored the final goal in the last round for the Croatian side against Krasnodar.

They were captained by Arijan Ademi, and had Kevin Theophile-Catherine in defence, who spent a year in the Premier League with Cardiff City.

As the game begun, the away side quickly applied the pressure.

Within the first minute, Dinamo Zagreb ruffled some feathers of the Spurs backline.

The fast nature to the beginning of the game didn’t last long, however, as the home side started to control possession.

Pass after pass was made, with the Croatian team sitting back, allowing their opponents to play.

Despite having large amounts of the ball, there were not many chances for either side.

Until the 25th minute.

Erik Lamela turned past Majer and drove towards the box.

He cut in onto what seemed to be a right foot shot but took it with the outside of his favoured left boot.

The ball rattled off the woodwork and fell to Harry Kane – who was in the right place at the right time to tap it into an empty net.

Although Spurs had the lead, they continued their domination throughout the half, with Zagreb’s only chance being a shot from the edge of the box by Petkovic, which Lloris got down well to save.

As the second half began, it seemed as if it would be the same story as the first 45 minutes.

The Croatian side sat back, and were unable to create any opportunity, due to the quick press of Mourinho’s men.

Breaking down the counter attacks before they could even be started.

An early chance from Kane was deflected over the bar, and Petkovic hit the side netting from an acute angle, which didn’t trouble the goalkeeper.

On the hour mark, both managers made changes, as Jose Mourinho looked to rest his players for the Arsenal game.

Lucas, Bergwijn and Bale came on for Son, Alli and Lamela.

Zoran Mamic also made a double change to his side in the hope of getting an important away goal.

It was the Tottenham substitutes who made an instant impact, however.

Gareth Bale picked up the ball on the right flank and delivered an exquisite outside of the boot shot to the back post, onto the foot of Bergwijn.

The Dutch international met the ball on the volley but his shot was too tame, and goalkeeper Livakovic palmed it away.

These changes added a different dimension to Spurs’ attack, and the starting players found a second wind.

Within five minutes, their lead doubled.

Tanguy Ndombele lofted a ball out wide to Serge Aurier, who with his first touch sent the ball back across goal.

French defender Theophile-Catherine had the chance to clear the ball but mishit his kick and it rolled to Kane.

The England captain only needed two touches.

One to set himself and another to drill it into the bottom corner.

Through the legs of Theophile-Catherine to add to the embarrassment.

Deadly from Harry Kane.

This goal saw the game become scrappy, with the Dinamo Zagreb players becoming frustrated.

Fouls were made, and yellow cards were given to players from either team.

Gareth Bale had a free-kick punched away by Livakovic, and also could have scored from close range at the back post but was unable to convert it on target.

As the game drew to a close, Carlos Vinicius broke into the box, but his shot was soft, and the game ended 2-0.

The second leg of the tie will take place next Thursday, with the Croatian side having an uphill battle.

Spurs will now be focusing on the North London derby this weekend, as they look to do a league double over Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.

Match Report by Nathan Salmon

Twitter: @SalmonSport

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