Champions League: Tottenham run rampant against Red Star to ease pressure on Mauricio Pochettino
Champions League Group B – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Tottenham 5 (Kane 9', 72’, Son 16', 44', Lamela 57’) Crvena Zvedza 0
An excellent performance from Spurs, who were almost as good as Red Star were rotten, leaves them well-placed to qualify for the last 16. After a poor run of form they now head to Anfield - to play Liverpool on Sunday - with confidence.
Spurs set about their visitors from the off and went ahead on nine minutes, Harry Kane glancing a header into the far corner. And shortly afterwards Heung-min Son made it two, caressing a volley into the roof of the net. Then, a minute before half-time, Son effectively ended the contest, slipping home after a mistake by Marko Marin.
In the second half it was simply a question of how many Spurs would score; it could have been 351, but ended up being just the two - via two more fine finishes - provided by Erik Lamela and Kane. Spurs now sit second in Group B on four points; a win in Belgrade next time out and they'll be more or less through.
Has Pochettino refound the balance? Spurs have changed formation from game to game and often in-game this season, to little avail, but perhaps the 4-2-3-1 they played tonight is best for them. Tanguy Ndombele has space into which he can run, Dele Alli is in what remains his best position, and Son is close to Kane. Lamela's spot is under threat from Eriksen and Lo Celso, but otherwise this looked a strong XI.
Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 3-0 during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crvena ZvezdaGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Heung-min Son (Spurs) Kane gave him a run for his money, but it was Son's darting excellence that set the tone for the evening.
Gazzaniga 6, Aurier 6, Sanchez 6, Vertonghen 6, Davies 6, Sissoo 6, Ndombele 7, Lamela 6, Alli 6, Son 8, Kane 8. Subs: Foyth 6, Dier 7, Lo Celso 6.
Crvena Zvedza: Borjan 6, Gobeljic 7, Degener 5, Milunovic 5, Rodic 6, Vulic 5, Canas 5, Garcia 5, Marin 6, Van La Parra 5, Tomane 5. Subs: Petrovic 6, Pavkov 6, Vukanovic 6.
Harry Kane has scored 16 goals in the group stages of the Champions League, more than every English player bar Paul Scholes, who has 19.
No player has more goals at the new Spurs ground than Son, who has six.
Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (C) scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Red Star Belgrade at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London, on October 22, 2019Getty Images
3’ - Lovely from Kane, who diddles Degenek inside and out, pulls back his right foot to shoot ... and collapses without anyone near him. No, not a signature dive, rather a slip.
9’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Crvena Zvedza (Kane) AND THERE IT IS! Lamela curls with whip towards the near post and Kane floats towards it, glancing very acceptably inside the far. He is an expert.
16’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crvena Zvedza (Son) This is another lusciously-taken goal, Lamela running in behind down the right and diddling his man by coming back inside before clipping a fine cross to the far post, where Son arrives on the sprint to control a volley into the roof. This is over.
36’ - Bit of pressure from Red Star, Rodic crossing high to the back post where Son's sleeping, nowhere near Gobelj, who cracks a shot into Davies, then whacks the rebound into Marin, in the middle, and the ball flies wide but could've gone anywhere. That was close.
44’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Crvena Zvedza (Son) Oh dear oh dear! Marin tries to run by Ndombele on halfway, leaves the ball behind, and Ndombele breaks. Kane makes a fine run off the ball to take men away so he slips in Son, whose first touch isn't good, but opens up the angle for him to slide past Borjan at his near post. This is precisely what Spurs need, and there are more goals for them here if they fancy taking them.
51’ - Glorious from Kane, swaying down the left and delivering a delectable left-footed cross! Lamela launches at it, but on the stretch, can't control his volley.
57’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Crvena Zvedza (Lamela) AND THERE IT IS! Kane comes deep and slides yet another flirtation of a pass out to Aurier, who crosses low for Lamela. Somehow, he has time to control, swivel, read the complete works of Chekhov, and punish high into the net.
72’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Crvena Zvedza (Kane) A fine straight ball from Dier finds Ndombele, who quickly clips out to Kane at inside-left; he stands up Gobeljic, has a look, then passes a clever finish through the defender's legs and inside the far post. He knows what he's doing.