Sep 17, 2015 at 8.05pm UK at ​White Hart Lane
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Qarabag FKQarabag FK
Heung-min (28', 30'), Lamela (86')
Alli (87')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Almeida (7' pen.)
Medvedev (84'), Sehic (85'), Sadiqov (87'), Michel (91')

Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Qarabag FK - as it happened

Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (2nd R) celebrates scoring his second goal with Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli (L) during the UEFA Europa League Group J football match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Qarabag FK on
© Getty Images
Find out how Tottenham Hotspur started their Europa League campaign by beating Qarabag FK 3-1 with Sports Mole's text coverage.

Tottenham Hotspur started their Europa League campaign with a victory by coming from behind to beat Qarabag FK 3-1 at White Hart Lane.

It was the Azerbaijani champions who broke the deadlock early in the game when Richard slotted home a penalty after Kieran Trippier's mistake in the box.

Spurs bounced back impressively to lead at the break thanks to a brace from Son Heung-min, before Erik Lamela secured the points late on.

Read below to find out how the action unfolded.

7.30pmGood evening everyone. The first night of the Europa League group stage is well underway, but there is plenty more action to come tonight. Stick with me for updates of Tottenham Hotspur's Group J clash with Azerbaijani champions Qarabag FK at White Hart Lane. Can Mauricio Pochettino's side start their campaign with a comfortable win?

7.33pmIt could be a year of transition for Spurs, who are looking to compete across all competitions with a young squad but they are expected to produce a strong challenge in Europe after being knocked out of the last-32 stage last season. With competition as fierce as ever in the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino may look at this route as their best chance to reach the Champions League.

7.35pmWhat do we know about Qarabag? Well, they certainly have plenty of money behind them and the Baku-based club comfortably clinched the league title in Azerbaijan last season. A defeat to Celtic ended their hopes of reaching the Champions League, but they proved their quality with a 4-0 aggregate success over Young Boys to qualify for the group stage of this competition.

7.37pmSPURS: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose; Carroll, Dier; Townsend, Alli, Lamela; Son
SUBS: Vorm, Davies, Fazio, Winks, Onomah, Clinton, Kane

7.40pmIt is no surprise to see Pochettino make six changes to the side that beat Sunderland 1-0 on Sunday. Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier make debuts in defence, while summer signing Son Heung-min is trusted to lead the line as Harry Kane drops to the bench. Andros Townsend starts for the first time this season, while Clinton N'Jie is included in the squad after joining from Lyon last month.

7.42pmQARABAG: Sehic; Medvedev, Huseynov, Sadygov, Agolli; Garayev, Ismaylov, Quintana, Richard, Taghiyev; Reynaldo
SUBS: Veliyev, Gurbanov, Yunuszada, Michel, El Jadeyaoui, Diniyev, Armenteros

7.44pmGurban Gurbanov usually plays with two strikers, but with his Qarabag side facing such a difficult test this evening he has adopted a 4-5-1 formation. Reynaldo is trusted to lead the line for the visitors, while former Valencia winger Dani Quintana also starts.

7.47pmJan Vertonghen has the night off, but all eyes are on this match this evening.

7.50pmIt is certainly fair to say that Spurs were not given the easiest draws when the groups were announced, which means they simply must make the most of both fixtures against Qarabag. They will also meet Anderlecht and Monaco in Group J, and it could be those two away trips which make the difference. You can follow live text coverage of Anderlecht vs. Monaco this evening.

7.53pmPREDICTION: Qarabag are likely to be keen to keep men behind the ball for long stages of the match, and they certainly have the creativity to trouble the home side on the break. However, Spurs should simply have too much for the visitors, even if they are forced to turn to Harry Kane later in the match. I'm going for a 3-0 Spurs win.


7.59pmKEY PLAYER: Andros Townsend was a key player for Spurs in the Europa League last season, and he will look at this competition as an opportunity to prove Pochettino he should be in the side on a regular basis. The winger's pace and trickery could be key if Qarabag look to sit deep, but Spurs need to make sure they get him on the ball further up the pitch.

Andros Townsend in action for Tottenham Hotspur on August 28, 2014© Getty Images

8.03pmThere are 200 supporters in the visiting end at White Hart Lane as the two sides walk out of the tunnel. Spurs must avoid any slip-ups tonight. An early goal would make this a much easier evening for Pochettino's side. Kickoff is just a few moments away.

1 minKICKOFF! We're underway in North London and Qarabag are looking to settle down on the ball immediately.

2 minCHANCE! Carroll loses the ball in midfield and Spurs are almost punished as Reynaldo comes forward at pace before Lloris keeps out a tame effort.

4 minSpurs are starting to control the pace of the match now and they come forward with Son, who spots the run of Lamela but Sehic is off his line quickly to collect the ball at the feet of the Argentine.

6 minPENALTY! Disaster for Spurs. Trippier makes the mistake on his debut as he brings down Agolli after being nutmegged in the box. Will he be punished?


8 minSpurs have been shocked at White Hart Lane. Lloris guesses correctly, but Richard hammers the penalty home. Can the hosts respond to an awful start?

9 minThe pressure is on Sehich when Son attempts to charge down a clearance, but the Qarabag goalkeeper displays impressive composure to turn the forward in the box. Spurs looking a little bit flat at the moment.

11 minQarabag look very solid at the back. Spurs are seeing plenty of the ball, but Son is being closed down by two defenders every time he receives possession close to the box. It could be a difficult evening from here.

13 minQarabag break well in numbers before being forced to slow the move down. Quintana is gifted space on the edge of the box, but his speculative scooped pass to Taghiyev is cut out by Alderweireld.

16 minMuch better from Spurs as Alli drops into a deeper position before turning to find Son, whose effort is deflected behind for a corner. Alderweireld then beats his marker to meet the corner which follows, but he is unable to direct his header on target.

18 minSpurs win a free kick in a good position, but Townsend's delivery is poor and Qarabag continue to look comfortable. Pochettino will be keen to see the likes of Townsend and Lamela get involved more often.

20 minLloris gets lucky when a deflected effort allows him to make a comfortable save. Spurs waste the chance to slice open the visitors on the break when Lamela's heavy touch stops him from picking out Son.

22 minGood football from Agolli out wide as he delays the pass before finding Richard, who miscues an effort straight at a grateful Lloris. Qarabag may be underdogs but they look very confident in the capital tonight.

24 minSon applauds Dier after dropping deep to collect a pass from his teammate and send a 25-yard strike just past the post. The South Korean has been the pick of Tottenham's players so far.

25 minSpurs threaten to get back on level terms when Agolli slices a clearance to put his teammates under pressure. Rose reacts well to get a touch on the ball in the box, but he is prevented from shooting at goal by some excellent defending from Sadygov.


29 minSon opens his Tottenham account! Qarabag have two men on the posts to defend a corner, but no one bothers to pick up the South Korean forward, who pokes home after beating Sehic to the ball. Spurs certainly needed him to deliver.


31 minSon scores his second of the game and it is a wonderful goal from Spurs. The summer signing slices open the visiting defence with a clever through ball to Alli, who leaves his marker on the ground with a superb turn before pulling the ball back to allow his teammate to slot home.

33 minOn just his second start, Son is starting to become a fan favourite as he works hard to win the ball before beating a couple of defenders on a clever run. He has been fantastic so far. Qarabag have struggled to respond since losing the lead.

35 minSpurs are playing at a much higher tempo and it is certainly making a difference. Townsend turns Agolli a couple of times before delivering a cross which Sehic collects under pressure from Lamela. Alli then beats the offside trap to get clear of the visiting defence, but he is denied by Sehic from the right side of the box.

36 minCHANCE! Spurs should be further ahead. Trippier's crossing caught the eye last season and he shows off his weapon by collecting a short corner before delivering the ball to Alderweireld, who somehow manages to send a free header over.

38 minCHANCE! What a let off for Rose. A risky piece of defending almost costs the hosts as Rose attempts to chest the ball back to Lloris but instead plays in Ismaylov, who can only lob he ball over the Spurs goalkeeper and wide of the post. It should have been the equaliser.

40 min

42 minCHANCE! This game is far from over. Qarabag produce some fantastic one-touch football in the middle of the pitch before the ball is sent out wide to Agolli, whose cross is headed over by Reynaldo. It's another warning to the Spurs defence.

44 minGreat chance for Lamela, who has heard groans after so many of his poor touches this evening. Townsend does well to cut inside before delivering a chipped pass over the top, but Lamela's control lets him down in the box.

45 minPoor from Reynaldo, who collects a long ball but ignores the options on offer by sending a speculative effort over the crossbar.


8.53pmIt has been a very entertaining first half in North London. Qarabag took a surprise lead with a penalty from Rihcard after Trippier's mistake, but Son has netted his first two goals for Spurs to hand them the advantage at the break. A mix of poor defending from the hosts and impressive Qarabag moves suggests that there could be more twists tonight.


8.59pmSpurs should be positive about how they have attacked, with Alli and Son linking up superbly on a number of occasions. That partnership will create more chances after the break, but Pochettino will be wary about the threat posed by Qarabag on the break. The hosts have looked vulnerable on the left, with both Rose and Lamela struggling tonight.

9.02pmUPDATE: With Anderlecht and Monaco to come, Spurs know they need to start their Group J campaign with a victory this evening. In tonight's other game in the group, Anderlecht currently lead the Ligue 1 side 1-0 thanks to a goal from Guillaume Gillet. You can also follow live text coverage of that match.

9.05pmThe two sides are back out for the second half. No changes from either manager at the interval.

46 minSpurs start the second half by working very hard without the ball to keep the pressure on the Qarabag midfield. A clever run from Son almost creates a chance for the hosts but the South Korean is caught offside.

47 minRose's disappointing night continues when he gives the ball away in a dangerous position. Quintana releases Reynaldo, who delays his cross which allows Alderweireld to clear the danger.

49 minSAVE! Better from Rose, this time at the opposite end of the pitch. He does well to somehow skip challenges from Medvedev and Ismaylov, before seeing a low shot saved by Sehic from a tight angle.

52 minOFF THE POST! You get the feeling Lamela just needs some luck. It is brilliant from Alli once again as he exchanges passes with Dier on the break before poking the ball beyond the final defender. Lamela takes the shot away from his teammate, but he can only hit the post after leaving Sehic helpless. Ali is playing superbly well tonight.

55 minBetter from Lamela as he wins the ball back for his side, before coming close to collecting a clever through ball from Alderweireld. Spurs looking on course for a third goal.

57 minCHANCE! Excellent football from the hosts. Dier wins the ball in midfield, before Alli does well to pick out Lamela, who holds play up and slides the pass through to Son. It's a good chance for the hat-trick, but his chipped effort is easily collected by Sehic.

59 minA long ball forward causes problems when Rose loses the run of Ismaylov. The ball breaks loose to Quintana, whose effort is deflected behind by Wimmer. Spurs need to kill the game off.

61 minDecent chance for Townsend to pick out Alli in the box when he breaks free of his marker on the counter, but his cross is too close to Sehic. It has been a bit hit and miss for the England international.

63 minAlderweireld switches play well to find Lamela, whose poor touch allows Qarabag to recover once again as the Argentine continues to struggle. Spurs look comfortable, but they really need another goal.

65 minBetter from the visitors as they quicken the tempo before the ball reaches Reynaldo, who delays his shot before being blocked by Wimmer and Spurs manage to clear the danger from the corner.

67 minAlli runs out of space on the left, but he pops the ball through Medvedev's legs to win a free kick in a good position. Changes will come first.

68 minSUBS! An impressive home debut comes to an end as Son comes off to be replaced by Kane. N'Jie is on to make his debut in place of Townsend. The hosts also makes a change as Samuel Armenteros replaces Tagiev.

69 minN'Jie starts his Spurs career with a poor free kick which Qarabag easily clear. The visitors break quickly and Agolli delivers a great cross to the back post, but his header is comfortably stopped by Lloris.

71 minPochettino looks a concerned man on the touchline when Dier goes down clutching his leg in pain after winning a tackle in midfield.

72 minHarry Winks is preparing to come on, but the hosts appear to be delaying the change for now as Dier looks to see if he can run off the knock.

74 minYou have to give credit to Qarabag. They could have collapsed after losing the lead, but they have managed to stay in the game and they will be confident of creating at least one more chance tonight. Spurs are threatening for now as Dier shoots straight at Sehic from 25 yards.

75 minSUB! Dier is still not moving well after that knock and a fine performance comes to an end as the 19-year-old Winks comes on for his second senior appearance.

78 minSpurs have taken their foot off the gas in the last few minutes and they are given another warning when Agolli's deflected effort is collected by Lloris. Could there be a late twist?

79 minSUBS! Michel and Alharbi El Jadeyaoui are off the bench for the visitors as Imaylov and Quintana both make way.

81 minSpurs move the ball nicely in midfield and Winks releases Rose on the left wing. The full-back should attempt to pick out Kane in the box, but he flashes a powerful half-volley across the face of goal.

82 minIt just has not happened for Lamela. The Argentine does not need to be offside, but he goes too early to collect Carroll's through ball and he's prevented from finishing off a fine move.

83 minYELLOW CARD! The referee takes a while to make the decision, but he finally gets it right by booking Medvedev for preventing N'Jie from running through to collect Kane's excellent pass.

84 minKane looks to break his duck with the free kick from 30 yards, but he fails to get the dip he wants as the ball sails over the crossbar.

85 minYELLOW CARD! Strange few moments at White Hart Lane. Sehic is told that the ball is not on the line as he lines up a goal kick, but he sends it forward anyway. A yellow card for time-wasting follows. They're losing 2-1!


87 minIt's all over at White Hart Lane. Huseynov appears to end a Spurs attack with an interception, before falling to ground when cramp strikes. Kane collects the loose ball to find Lamela, who keeps composed to chip the ball over Sehic. Excellent finish from a player who looks very relieved.

88 minYELLOW CARD! It's unclear whether Alli is helping Huseynov or poking fun at the Qarabag skipper, but the two players clash and the referee steps in with a couple of bookings.

90 minA wild pass from N'Jie invites pressure from Reynaldo, who eventually settles for corner after being closed down by Wimmer in a wide position. Spurs manage to clear once again.

90+1 minYELLOW CARD! Michel picks up a booking for pulling back Alli as Spurs looked to launch a break. There will be three minutes added on.

90+3 minSpurs look to be on course for a comfortable win in stoppage time. It has not been a perfect performance, but three points are key on the opening night of the group stage. Alli almost caps a fine performance with a goal when he cuts inside to beat a couple of defenders before sending a shot wide.


9.56pmSpurs were on the back foot early on and conceded first, but a brace from Son and Lamela's late strike has secured all three points for Pochettino's side, who take top spot in Group J. That's all from our live text coverage this evening. Keep an eye out for analysis and ratings. Goodbye everyone.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur reacts after missing a chance during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at The King Power Stadium on August 22, 2015
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