Tottenham hammers Monaco 4-1
Erik Lamela scored a first-half hat-trick to ensure Tottenham topped Europa League Group J in style with a convincing victory over Monaco.
The Argentine playmaker, 23, expertly placed all three of his goals beyond visiting keeper Danijel Subasic, who had a night to forget.
Monaco’s consolation came when Stephan El Shaarawy curled in from 25 yards.
But Tom Carroll’s neat, close-range finish rounded off another superb display by Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Monaco were never in the contest against a Tottenham team that started without the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.
Despite the changes, Tottenham had enough firepower to extend their run of form to nine games unbeaten, with just two defeats in their last 21 matches.
Lamela was the architect with three low shots which were too good for Subasic, but the Croatia international will feel he was beaten far too easily at his near post.
Perhaps the best goal of the night was the cool finish applied by Carroll after his quick feet had left Elderson wrong-footed.
The manner of the strike was reminiscent of the type of goals regularly scored by Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi.
With qualification already secured, Pochettino took the opportunity to test the depth of his squad – and his understudies passed with aplomb against a Monaco side who knocked out Arsenal on their way to reaching the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League.
Nabil Bentaleb and Nacer Chadli continued their recoveries from injury with tidy substitute performances, while 18-year-old Joshua Onomah impressed in his first senior start.
The midfielder combined some probing passing with clever runs and he might have scored, but he opted for precision rather than power from six yards out.
South Korean forward Son Heung-Min was always a threat too on a night when Monaco, save for a 20-minute period in the second half, were outplayed.
By finishing top of their group, Tottenham avoid having to play the best teams which will drop down from the Champions League in the next round.
They are next in action on Sunday when they host Newcastle in the Premier League (16:00 GMT).
Draw to be made on Monday, 14 December at 12 noon GMT
What they said
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: “I’m very happy, job done and first in the group. I’m proud of them and we showed we have a very strong squad.
“It’s fantastic for Lamela and a great moment for him. From the start of the season he’s showing improvement and consistency.
“Joshua Onomah deserved it for how he trains and develops his game. He’s a great talent from the academy.”
Erik Lamela scored the first hat-trick for an English club versus Monaco since Tony Yeboah for Leeds in September 1995.
Lamela has netted five goals in five Europa League games this season.
Tom Carroll’s goal was his first for the club since making his debut against Hearts in 2011.
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