Brazilian striker Carlos Vinicius opened his account for Tottenham Hotspur with two first-half goals and Harry Winks scored a spectacular long-range effort in a 4-0 win over Bulgarian side Ludogorets in Europa League Group J on Thursday.
Victory put Tottenham into second place in the standings with two games remaining, level on points with Royal Antwerp who won 2-0 away at Austrian side LASK.
Welsh forward Gareth Bale started for Tottenham, as did out-of-favour Dele Alli, but it was Vinicius, signed on loan from Benfica as backup for Harry Kane, who took his chance to shine.
The 25-year-old put Tottenham in front after 16 minutes when Alli’s ball intended for Bale deflected off a Ludogorets player into the path of Vinicius who rolled in an easy finish.
Premier League leaders Tottenham were totally dominant and Alli was also involved in the second goal, unselfishly squaring to Vinicius after Tanguy Ndombele’s powerful low shot was parried out by goalkeeper Plamen Iliev.
Just past the hour mark Winks enlivened the second period when he received the ball from a throw-in some 50 metres out on the left and launched a shot that flew over the head of Iliev.
According to Opta, only two goals have been scored from further out in the Europa League since 2009-10.
“Winks was honest and he told in some flash interview that what he wanted to do was some diagonal pass,” Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said.
“If it was me I would say I tried to score that goal and it would be a candidate for the Puskas awards.”
Tottenham were not finished, though, and Vinicius teed up Lucas Moura to fire his side’s fourth.
There was still time for teenage striker Dane Scarlett to come off the bench for his Spurs debut and become the club’s youngest-ever first-team player at 16 years and 247 days old.
Scarlett almost capped a memorable day with a chance in stoppage time but his shot rolled across the face of goal.