Harry Kane scored a hat-trick and Dele Alli also found the target to help Tottenham reach the group stage of the Europa League courtesy of a hugely entertaining victory over Israeli side Maccabi Haifa.
With this their seventh game in 19 gruelling days at the start of the season, you would have forgiven Spurs for easing into the encounter.
Instead, a frantic first half yielded five goals, four of which went to the home side.
Harry Kane slotted in the opener from close range before former QPR forward Tjaronn Chery curled in a superb equaliser for the visitors.
This only served to provoke further attacking brilliance from the home side, who restored their lead when Lucas Moura flicked the ball in off his back from a corner, and then claimed total control courtesy of two Giovani lo Celso finishes, assisted by the lively Steven Bergwijn and crafty Kane.
The Argentine made way to allow Alli to play the second half, which was somewhat overshadowed by two penalties awarded via controversial handballs.
Spurs Matt Doherty and Maccabi’s Ernest Mabouka both had their arms by their side to block crosses but each were penalised, leading to Nikita Rukavytsya narrowing the three-goal margin before Kane restored it.
The England captain then completed a superb night with a neat chipped finish following a Bergwijn pass, before Alli won a penalty with sharp turn to draw a foul that he himself converted.
The draw for the group stage will take place on Friday.
Alli caps a brilliant night for Spurs
The night could not have gone much better for Jose Mourinho and his side.
They did not have it all their own way against a Maccabi side who pressed with gusto early on and kept the home side on their toes, not least when Chery scored his brilliant equaliser.
But through Kane’s goals, Moura’s and Bergwijn’s movement and Lo Celso’s ruthless influence between them, the Portuguese’s squad is finally punching its weight.
Most encouraging, though, is the contribution of Alli, who was hauled off at half-time in their opening league game of the season and has barely had a look-in since amid suggestions Mourinho was looking to offload him.
The Spurs boss has never wavered in his stance that Alli has an important role still to play and that the midfielder need only work hard and take on advice to earn his way back in.
It appears to have worked with Alli producing a 45 minutes full of graft, sprinkled with guile and topped off with his confident nutmeg to win the final penalty, and coolness to finish it.
Man of the match – Harry Kane (Tottenham)
‘It is not human’
Having played three games in five days, Spurs boss Mourinho reserved special praise for those in his squad who have started two of those consecutively.
“What Eric Dier, Bergwijn and Toby [Alderweireld] did is not human,” he said.
“It’s proven, scientifically proven, every sport scientist person knows that what they did shouldn’t be done.
“To play 180 minutes in three days shouldn’t be allowed. These three guys did it. I know that some others played also until their limit, but we managed because we have a good squad and we have a squad with different options.
“We managed to share players in these matches and we managed to go through two knockout competitions in the Carabao and Europa League, but we could have gone out. Job done. I am really happy for the job done.”
- 6D Sánchez
- 5HøjbjergSubstituted forSissokoat 63′minutes
- 27Lucas Moura
- 18Lo CelsoSubstituted forAlliat 45′minutes
- 10KaneSubstituted forReguilónat 75′minutes
- 15AradSubstituted forDonyohat 71′minutes
- 26Mabouka Massoussi
- 16Abu FaniSubstituted forAshkenaziat 87′minutes
- 8HazizaSubstituted forRodríguez Martínezat 83′minutes
- 14Rodríguez Martínez
- 25Raz Meir