Gareth Bale (left to right) Carlos Vinicius and Lucas Moura
Lucas Moura (right) celebrates his goal with Carlos Vinicius and Gareth Bale (left)

Striker Carlos Vinicius shone on his debut as Tottenham comfortably defeated Austrian side LASK in their opening Europa League Group J match.

The 25-year-old Brazilian, on loan from Benfica, set up Lucas Moura for the opening goal in the 18th minute before his cushioned header for Son Heung-min resulted in Spurs’ third.

Vinicius might have scored the second goal, but Gareth Bale’s low ball from the right intended for him was inadvertently turned in by LASK left-back Andres Andrade.

Substitute Dele Alli came close to adding another, but his shot was partially blocked by the arm of goalkeeper Alexander Schlager, who then had to hook the ball off the line.

Is Vinicius more than just a reserve forward?

Although many eyes would have been on Bale, making his first start in a Spurs shirt since 2013, attention was also focused on 6ft 3in Brazilian Vinicius – a striker brought in to be Harry Kane’s stand-in.

The 25-year-old joined Benfica from Napoli, where he was denied a chance to play, in 2019 and scored 24 goals in 18 matches before his loan move to Spurs in the last window, which could become permanent.

He made a very good first impression for manager Jose Mourinho, which almost became a great impression in the ninth minute when he headed a simple chance wide from six yards. Vinicius was visibly frustrated by his miss, but atoned for mistake with a brilliant piece of skill for the opener.

The forward took down a long punt with a brilliant first touch before drifting left and squaring the ball for Lucas, who had taken his fellow Brazilian’s place in the middle. The midfielder finished off the move with a low shot.

Bale had a relatively quiet 61 minutes on the right of the attack, although his ball did lead to the second goal. The move began with a swift counter-attack on the right before Erik Lamela found the Welshman, whose low ball was turned in by unfortunate Panamanian Andrade.

Bale was replaced by Son Heung-min, with Mourinho also choosing to bring on midfielders Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko, having started the match with only three players who featured in the 3-3 draw against West Ham.

Alli came close to adding a third before Son did, when he fired in from Vinicius’ gorgeous assist, and the Brazilian came off moments later.

LASK, defeated by Manchester United in this competition in the last 16 in August, had their best spell just before the break when Gernot Trauner had a shot blocked, before Joe Hart flew to his right to punch away Andreas Gruber’s curling shot.

Lucas on a scoring streak for Spurs – stats

  • Spurs have won 11 of their last 12 home Europa League group stage matches.
  • After losing just one of their first eight Europa League matches (W5 D2), LASK have lost each of their last three in a row.
  • Spurs have scored 31 goals in all competitions this season, five more than any other Premier League side.
  • Mourinho has won 12 of his 15 home matches in the Uefa Cup/Europa League (D2 L1), across spells with Benfica, FC Porto, Manchester United and Spurs.
  • Lucas has scored in each of his last three starts in all competitions, his best streak for the club.
  • Only Kane (18) has been directly involved in more goals in all competitions among Premier League players than Son (13 – nine goals, four assists) this season.
  • Austrian teams remain winless in 18 away European matches in England, drawing one and losing 17.

What’s next?

Spurs are at Burnley next Monday (20:00 BST) in the Premier League.

Player of the match

Carlos ViniciusCarlos Vinicius

LASK

  1. Squad number31Player nameGrgic

  2. Squad number17Player nameGruber

  3. Squad number27Player nameGoiginger

  4. Squad number5Player nameFilipovic

  5. Squad number14Player nameBalic

  6. Squad number10Player nameMichorl

  7. Squad number13Player nameEggestein

  8. Squad number16Player namePotzmann

  9. Squad number7Player nameRenner

  10. Squad number29Player nameRaguz

  11. Squad number18Player nameTrauner

  12. Squad number1Player nameSchlager

  13. Squad number25Player nameHolland

  14. Squad number30Player nameAndrade

  15. Squad number6Player nameWiesinger

  16. Squad number26Player nameRanftl

Line-ups

Tottenham

  • 12Hart
  • 2Doherty
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 33Davies
  • 3Reguilón
  • 5HøjbjergSubstituted forSissokoat 62′minutes
  • 8Winks
  • 9BaleSubstituted forSon Heung-Minat 62′minutes
  • 11LamelaSubstituted forAlliat 62′minutes
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forLo Celsoat 78′minutes
  • 45Alves MoraisSubstituted forClarkeat 86′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lloris
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 10Kane
  • 17Sissoko
  • 18Lo Celso
  • 20Alli
  • 23Bergwijn
  • 24Aurier
  • 28Ndombele
  • 40Austin
  • 47Clarke

LASK

  • 1Schlager
  • 6Wiesinger
  • 18Trauner
  • 30AndradeSubstituted forPotzmannat 45′minutes
  • 26Ranftl
  • 25HollandSubstituted forGrgicat 5′minutes
  • 10MichorlBooked at 45mins
  • 7RennerSubstituted forFilipovicat 39′minutes
  • 17GruberSubstituted forEggesteinat 45′minutes
  • 29Raguz
  • 14BalicSubstituted forGoigingerat 78′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Filipovic
  • 13Eggestein
  • 15Ramsebner
  • 16Potzmann
  • 21Madsen
  • 22Cheberko
  • 24Lawal
  • 27Goiginger
  • 31Grgic
  • 36Gebauer

Referee:
Mohammed Al-Hakim

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