Victory could be just the spark Tottenham have been searching for, says Alli
Tottenham 3-0 Apoel
Dele Alli hopes Tottenham can use their 3-0 Champions League victory over Apoel Nicosia as a springboard to relaunch their ailing domestic campaign.
Fernando Llorente scored his first for Spurs, who were also boosted by goals from Son Heung-min and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, as Mauricio Pochettino’s men rubber-stamped their dominance of Group H.
Tottenham have, however, slipped to sixth in the Premier League table after failing to win any of their last three games, and Alli is targeting a recovery.
The England midfielder said: “We wanted to get back to winning ways and we did that.
“Every game’s important and from the start of the season we’ve wanted to win every game but it’s not always happened. We take the positives from this and go into the next game.
“We’re a very confident side and are disappointed when we don’t win games. It’s important that as a team we stay together and keep building.”
Spanish striker Llorente, who grabbed his maiden Spurs goal after drawing a blank in his first 16 appearances, added: “Today was an excellent opportunity for me and I’m very happy because I could score and help my team to win.
“It’s difficult when you don’t have opportunities but you have to create them for yourself.”
Spurs have suffered from sluggish starts in recent weeks but they were at it from the off here as Serge Aurier and Son (left) both saw early shots flash wide.
Llorente did well to nod a Harry Winks free-kick to the back post, but Davinson Sanchez and Nkoudou were both thwarted from close range, the latter’s finish expertly cleared off the line by Jesus Rueda.
Apoel’s resistance could only last so long, however, and Tottenham took the lead in the 20th minute when Llorente was given ample space in the six-yard box to control, turn and slot home Aurier’s driven cross.
Spurs continued to push and probe, with Nkoudou particularly inventive down the left, even if some of his meandering runs appeared to have no obvious destination.
Llorente was more precise and seven minutes before half-time he turned provider, pivoting a neat one-two on the edge of the box with Son, who bent the ball first-time into the bottom corner. It was his fifth goal in his last eight starts.
Apoel striker Mickael Pote could have given his side a lifeline but failed to connect with a free header and, after a brief spell of pressure at the start of the second half, Tottenham again took control.
Llorente should have had a second when Rueda scuffed his clearance but the swivelling Spaniard miscued, and Danny Rose was perhaps fortunate only to receive a yellow card when he bumped irritably into substitute Roland Sallai.
All that was left was for Nkoudou to cap his dynamic display with a goal. The winger nipped inside Nuno Morais before watching his deflected shot fly into the net.