Paris: Harry Kane netted a double in his first match since announcing that he will stay at Tottenham this season as Spurs beat Pacos de Ferreira 3-0 last night to overturn a first-leg deficit in the Europa Conference League play-off round.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men head into today’s group-stage draw for the inaugural edition of UEFA’s third-tier competition.
England striker Kane had wanted to leave Spurs in the close season for Manchester City, but was denied a move by club chairman Daniel Levy and confirmed earlier this week he would be remaining in north London.
He had missed Tottenham’s first two games of the campaign to regain full fitness after captaining England on their run to the Euro 2020 final, but made a substitute appearance in a 1-0 win at Nuno’s former club Wolves last weekend.
“I see Harry every day since he joined us, every day. He doesn’t have to prove (anything) to anyone,” Nuno said. “He’s committed. You can see. All the situations that have happened, are part of the past, let’s look and move forward, but I see him every day.”
Santo gave Kane his first start since taking over as manager and also named him as captain with usual skipper Hugo Lloris rested.
The 28-year-old made an almost immediate impact at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, levelling the tie, after a 1-0 first-leg loss in Portugal, in the ninth minute by collecting Bryan Gil’s pass and slotting home.
Kane pounced on a loose ball in the box to put Spurs in control 10 minutes before half-time, to the delight of the home fans who had sung his name at Molineux when his future was still uncertain.
Giovani Lo Celso put the result beyond doubt in the second half and Kane was replaced by Son Heung-min with 18 minutes left.
“He (Kane) is still improving,” Nuno added. “But playing is the best way for all players to improve, to compete and the edge of the game is what takes players beyond their limits and that is what we expect from all of them.”
Third straight win
Jose Mourinho’s Roma eased into the group phase with a 3-0 second-leg victory over Trabzonspor at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Italian side wrapped up a 5-1 aggregate success to book their spot in today's draw and give Mourinho a third straight win since taking charge.
Roma, who also won their Serie A opener against Fiorentina at the weekend, put the tie beyond their Turkish visitors’ reach with Bryan Cristante’s 20th-minute strike.
Nicolo Zaniolo and substitute Stephan El Shaarawy both scored in the second half as Roma progressed with the minimum of fuss.
French club Rennes also cruised through, winning 3-1 over Rosenborg in Norway for a 5-1 aggregate success.
Maximilian Wittek’s double helped the Netherlands’ Vitesse Arnhem edge out Anderlecht 2-1 and 5-4 on aggregate, while FC Copenhagen thrashed Sivasspor 5-0 in the Danish capital after a 2-1 first-leg win.
Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar reached the group stage of a European competition for the first time, beating Riga in extra time.
In the Europa League play-offs, Fenerbahce saw off HJK 6-2 on aggregate, winning 5-2 in Finland, while Rapid Vienna beat Zorya Luhansk 3-2 in Ukraine after last week’s 3-0 first-leg victory.
Scottish giants Celtic held on for a 3-2 aggregate win over AZ Alkmaar despite losing in the Netherlands.
Kyogo Furuhashi’s brilliant start to life in Glasgow since signing from Kashima Antlers continued with his seventh goal for Celtic.
AZ hit back to lead on the night before half-time, but a 2-1 defeat was enough for Celtic to give their new era under Ange Postecoglou another boost after an impressive start to the season since the former Australia boss took charge.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers also edged into the group stage, beating Alashkert 1-0 on aggregate after a goalless draw in Armenia.