Erik Lamela looked every inch a £30m player as he scored a first-half hat-trick to put Tottenham Hotspur in cruise control in their Europa League clash with Monaco at White Hart Lane tonight.
The Argentine opened the scoring two minutes in and had another on the quarter-hour mark. He then sealed his first career treble with a rare right-footed strike! Goals two and three can be seen below:
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Lamela’s right peg is notoriously rubbish. He famously scored an outrageous ‘rabona’ in the Europa League last term, wrapping his left foot around the back of his right to avoid using his weaker foot.
But his confidence is clearly growing, and he went with his right foot this evening to fire into the bottom corner and give Tottenham a 3-0 lead on 37 minutes, after Son Heung-Min had teed him up.
Lamela was also given an assist for his second goal – by Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, who somehow allowed his side-footed shot from outside of the box squirm under him and into the net.
The 23-year-old has often been ridiculed since his club-record arrival of £30m in 2013 – fee reported by the Daily Mail – but is finally starting to deliver on his hefty price tag under Mauricio Pochettino.
He now has seven goals for the season – five in this competition – and has earned a regular spot for Spurs in the Premier League, starting nine of their 14-game unbeaten run since the opening day.
Do Tottenham supporters have a new hero? For tonight at least, although everyone at White Hart Lane will be hoping that this is just the beginning for Lamela as he finally shows his true colours.
The hosts are well on their way to three points 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.
Half-time: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Monaco
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