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Friday 20 September 2013

Europa League: Swansea and Spurs triumph

Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea begin group stage of competition with 3-0 victories

  • Wilfried Bony gives Swansea the lead against Valencia at Mestalla

  • Michu offers an apologetic celebration to his fellow Spaniards after making it 2-0

  • Jermain Defoe scores one of two goals for Spurs against Tromso at White Hart Lane

  • Christian Eriklsen scores his first Spurs goal to seal a 3-0 victory over the Norwegian outfit

Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur completed impressive European victories as both Barclays Premier League clubs secured 3-0 successes against Valencia and Tromso in the UEFA Europa League respectively.

Valencia 0-3 Swansea City

Swansea's first foray in the Europa League group stage resulted in a comfortable victory against Valencia as Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan de Guzman condemned the Spanish Liga side to a 3-0 home reverse.

"Bony is a great player – he will score lots of goals this season"

The hosts suffered an early setback when defender Adil Rami was dismissed in the ninth minute for a foul on Bony, and the Ivorian striker took full advantage by giving his side the lead on 14 minutes with a deflected right-footed strike.

Michu doubles the Swans' lead from eight yards on 58 minutes and De Guzman crowned a commanding display four minutes later with a 30-yard free-kick that took Michael Laudrup’s side top of Group A.

"To come to a difficult stadium like this and leave with a clean sheet is a great effort from the team," Michu told "To score three goals also gives us great pleasure. We deserved to win although the red card helped us. We always try to play good football regardless of the opponent. [Bony] is a great player. He will score lots of goals this season. To score at Mestalla and win the game is a great feeling."

Swansea, who drew 2-2 with Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League on Monday night, hope to continue their freescoring form at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Tromso

Jermain Defoe scored twice and Christian Eriksen produced his first goal for his new club as Tottenham Hotspur opened their Europa League group campaign with an assured victory over Tromso.

"When Defoe gets his chance he's always fantastic and he scores goals, and that's what he's been doing throughout his whole career"
Gylfi Sigurdsson

The England international broke the deadlock on 21 minutes after being put through by summer signing Erik Lamela and, eight minutes later, Defoe had moved to within two goals of Martin Chivers' European scoring record for Spurs when he raced on to Lewis Holtby's through ball to score his 20th goal in European competition for the Londoners.

With four minutes remaining, Eriksen put the seal on the result with a dipping strike from 25 yards that ensured Andre Villas-Boas's charges assumed top spot in Group K.

The only negatives from the impressive performance were injuries to left-back Danny Rose, midfielder Mousa Dembele, who was carried off the pitch on a stretcher, and centre-back Younes Kaboul, who limped off towards the end.

"Three points already – that's a positive thing," said Spurs midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. "I think the other team never really got going in the game, and that's maybe a good thing, because there's a lot of games coming up.

"We managed to get those two goals in the first half so that really killed their chances in the game, and it was easier in the second half. When [Defoe] plays and gets his chance he's always fantastic and he scores goals, and that's what he's been doing throughout his whole career.

Spurs travel to Cardiff City in their forthcoming Barclays Premier League fixture on Sunday afternoon.

UEFA Europa League results

Thursday 19 September

Group A
St Gallen 2-0 Kuban Krasnodar
Valencia 0-3 Swansea (Bony, Michu, De Guzman)

Group K
FC Sherriff 0-0 Anji Makhachkala
Spurs (Defoe 2, Eriksen) 3-0 Tromso

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Key Points

  • Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea each win 3-0 in opening UEFA Europa League group matches
  • Swans overcome 10-man Valencia in Spain while Spurs sink Tromso at home
  • Jermain Defoe scores twice for Londoners; Bony, Michu and De Guzman on target for Michael Laudrup's side