ROBERTO SOLDADO MAY have only scored once from play in the Premier League this season but he is bossing Europa League opponents.
The Spanish striker has now scored five goals in three Europa League games with Spurs after netting a hat-trick against Anzhi Makhachkala at White Hart Lane tonight.
Having been dropped for Jermaine Defoe for Spurs last two Premier League games, Soldado started up front against the Russians and was on the scoresheet after seven minutes. Gylfi Sigurdsson whipped in a dangerous free-kick and Soldado stepped ahead of his marker to flick a header home from inside the six yard box.
His second goal came on 16 minutes as he ran across Anzhi’s central defensive pairing to sweep home a cute pass from Roma signing Erik Lamela. Tottenham gifted a goal back on 44 minutes as a corner ball was allowed bounce in the box, with Ewerton stabbing home from close range.
Spurs, with Andros Townsend impressing, started the second-half with the intent of killing the tie off. Townsend scampered up the right wing and chipped the ball to Lewis Holtby, who controlled deftly and drilled home his team’s third.
There was further reason for the home fans to cheer as Cristian Eriksen appeared off the bench in his first game back from an ankle injury picked up last month on international duty with Denmark. With 20 minutes left on the clock, young Spurs right-back Ryan Fredericks was felled in the box, leaving Soldado with the task of scoring a penalty to seal his hat-trick.
The £26m signing from Valencia tucked home his spot-kick and was given a standing ovation as Andre Villas Boas replaced him in the closing stages.
Earlier this evening, Swansea fell to a 1-0 defeat by St Gallen but have still progressed to the knock-out stages. Wigan’s European adventure is at an end, however, as the Championship side slipped to a 2-1 defeat by NK Maribor.