Mauricio Pochettino rotated heavily for Tottenham Hotspur’s final Europa League Group J game at home to Monaco this evening, and his much-changed side took less than two minutes to take the lead.
Erik Lamela was one of only four players retained from the team which started Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, and side-footed home a precise cutback from Ben Davies.
This was the Argentine’s fifth goal of the season – third in this competition – and he is finally beginning to deliver on the potential which persuaded Spurs to spend £25.7m on him – fee reported by BBC Sport.
Lamela has started nine of Tottenham’s 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, but a couple of fringe players who have not featured as regularly played important roles in the build-up.
Clinton N’Jie, making only his second Spurs start, perfectly timed his pass to the overlapping Davies, who has played just once domestically since October, to pick out Lamela expertly with his cross.
Teenager Joshua Onomah, defenders Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier and Tom Carroll are others to have been given a platform to impress, with Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen rested.
Lamela has since added Tottenham’s second on a night when victory will send them through to the last 32 of the competition as Group J winners, and knock their Ligue 1 opponents out in the process.
Jeff Stelling racism row: Sky presenter offends viewers with politically incorrect Japan joke
Gary Neville’s Sky Sports replacement: Liverpool failure & BBC playboy among top five candidates
Video: John Terry’s ‘young wife’ asked for ID at Winter Wonderland