Tottenham can taste the group stage of the Europa League after an easy victory in Georgia
A leg still to play, but that's Spurs in the group stage of the Europa League. They'll face better opposition as they attempt to win their first pot on the continent for three decades, but that was a fine display, nonetheless, with Townsend their star man. Gareth who eh what was that now?
90 min: There will be one added minute of this game, which was over a long, long time ago.
89 min: As 87 min, but replace Dvali with Merebashvili, and take out the bit about the tantrum.
87 min: Dvali has never once stopped running, hassling and being a general irritant. He's a decent player. He wins a corner down the right and, despite his side being five goals down, throws a righteous tantrum, demanding a free kick or penalty, having been under close supervision from Rose. But a corner's all he's getting. Nothing comes of it. But there's a display of spirit from a team who looked like they'd thrown in the towel 20 minutes ago when the goals started flying in.
85 min: Vouho shanks a shot wide from 12 yards. He should have at least troubled Lloris there, but dragged it miles right.
83 min: ... clips a gorgeous cross into the middle for Kane, who plants a header on the left-hand upright. The ball bounces back along the goalline into the grateful hands of Loria. Six would be a bit unfair on Dinamo, who looked decent going forward for a wee while this afternoon.
82 min: Goga comes on for Dzaria. He's immediately involved in a skirmish in the Spurs box. The ball breaks right to Papaua, who creams a shot towards the bottom left, but Lloris, always on, parries brilliantly. What a reaction. Spurs clear upfield. Chadli picks up the ball down the left, and ...
80 min: Naughton swings one in from the right. It flies off Kvaratskhella's shin and into the air. Loria plucks the falling ball from the sky. Spurs make a cheeky free kick claim for the backpass, but it's as half-arsed a yelp as you'll ever hear.
79 min: A flick of the rim o' the hat to the Dinamo support. They're still jumping around, giving it plenty, despite this comprehensive undressing.
76 min: Khurtsilava goes on a fantastic journey down the inside-right channel, skating past four half-arsed Spurs challenges. He reaches the area then pulls the ball across for Dvali, whose shot is deflected out for a futile corner.
75 min: Townsend cuts inside from the right and shins one into the stand behind the goal. He doesn't look too fussed.
74 min: Spurs tap it around in the insouciant style. Professionals don't often like to embarrass other pros when the job's done, do they?
71 min: The training-ground vibe is ramped up as Villas-Boas makes a double switch. Carroll and Kane come on for Paulinho and Soldado.
69 min: Grigalashvili takes a wallop from distance in a fit of defiance. It's straight at Lloris.
How smart that tactic will prove is a moot point. Chadli strides down the left and whips a low ball through the six-yard box, Soldado tapping home. The striker doesn't even bother to smile, never mind celebrate, so simple was that. The home defence have gone home.
66 min: Dinamo are sitting back now, their only aim now to save face.
Spurs are turning it on now. Soldado and Chadli shuttle the ball across the Dinamo area, left to right, for Townsend, who dinks a pass over the back line for Paulinho to attempt an overhead into the top right. It's over the bar. No matter, because a few seconds after the restart, Spurs are coming back at the home team, and Rose finds that top corner with an absolute screamer from the left-hand edge of the box. Loria, despite the ball flying across him, had no chance.
63 min: Spurs are playing keepball at the moment.
61 min: Sigurdsson is replaced by Chadli.
60 min: Rose is booked for a clumsy clank on Khurtsilava. The free kick is plucked from the sky by Lloris, who has kept his concentration wonderfully tonight.
How Tottenham have woken from their second-half slumber! The man-of-the-match Townsend zips past Papava down the right, reaches the byline, and pulls the ball back for Soldado, who hammers home a simple chance, low and hard, into the right-hand side of the net. This tie is over.
57 min: Spurs win a corner after some nice interplay between Soldado and Paulino on the edge of the Dinamo area. But the home side clear efficiently, and Grigalashvili is able to tear upfield down the right. He looks for Dvali in the middle, but Dawson is back to clear the danger behind. Lloris fists the corner away with little fuss.
55 min: Spurs aren't having it all their own way in the second half. They've done little up front, with the home side enjoying the lion's share of the ball. Mind you, they'll consider the job pretty much done tonight, providing they keep their heads at the back. Dinamo, despite their occasional prettiness, haven't given Lloris much to worry about, that's for sure.
53 min: Merebashvili dances around Rose down the right, a lovely turn on the spot. Capoue comes across and clatters the home striker for his impudence. The home side want some sort of administrative note taken, but the referee's having none of it. The free kick is all they're getting. It's whipped into the area, Papava eyebrowing a poor effort wide right of the target.
51 min: Rose, up the other end, bangs a shot in from a tight angle, but it balloons off a Dinamo defender and into the arms of Loria.
50 min: Dinamo aren't one of the most dangerous teams in Europe, this is true, but they play some tidy enough football, and you'll see worse sides going forward across the continent this season. Dvali tiptoes around down the right in the hope of releasing Khurtsilava down the wing, but he's crowded out. Another period of possession sees Khurtsilava sprint down the right and nearly bust clear of Rose, but the full back crunches in well just as it appears the home side may get a bit of joy near the area.
47 min: Grigalashvili slides the ball down the inside right channel for Vouho, the striker looking to turn and get a shot away, but Dawson blocking the ball out for a corner. The set piece is whizzed to the far post, where Merebashvili heads lamely wide left.
The second half's underway! The home side make another change, Glisic, who has been turned fully inside out by Townsend, making way for Papava.
Some half-time amusement in the close-harmony, advertising-jingle style. Tottenham as toothpaste, envisioned by Don Draper.
Tottenham have been excellent, though the home side have given it a good go up front. Expect more goals in the second half, this is a very open game. And having now said that, expect no goals in the second half.
45 min: Rose has a dig from nigh-on 40 yards. Now, now.
Naughton dispossesses Dvali as the scampering striker looks to break down the inside left. The ball's chipped up the right wing to Townsend, who dances into the area, drops a shoulder and sends Glisic sliding off in Puskas-Wright firefighting mode. The brilliant Townsend, with time to think, dinks a chip into the centre, where the storming Paulinho nods home from six yards. Magnificent wingplay. Spurs are looking very glamorous up front.
42 min: A kaput Xisco is replaced by Vouho.
41 min: Spurs are stroking it around at the back in the style favoured by the Liverpool teams of the late 70s. And look what happened to them.
39 min: Grigalashvili hoicks a dreadful long-range shot many miles over the bar. Awful, though Spurs were allowing him a terrible amount of space to advance into. Spurs have been highly decent so far, but the defence hasn't looked rock solid by any means. Early days, of course, for a team that's been given a good shoogle about in terms of personnel by Andre Villas-Boas.
38 min: Dembele is booked for constant narky fouling, the sort that irritates referees more than players or fans.
36 min: Rose sashays down the left. His low fizzing cross, along the face of the six-yard box, is nearly turned into his own net by Loria, who gets down but doesn't claim well at all. Corner. From which Dawson heads wide on the right.
35 min: Lloris rushes out of his area to whack a long ball back upfield, the constantly buzzing Dvali a split second away from getting right up in his grille.
34 min: More from Capoue, who cuts inside from the right and arrows a shot into the top left. Of the stand behind the goal.
33 min: Capoue slaloms past four blue shirts, lovely footwork. The minute he reaches the area, and has options, both brain and legs stop working properly. A shame. Khurtsilava tears off upfield on a run of his own, but is going nowhere fast.
31 min: Not for the first time today, Soldado causes all manner of trouble on the edge of the opposition box. The ball's eventually hacked clear. The Dvali header apart, Tottenham have looked pretty comfortable so far.
30 min: Khurtsilava is booked for a sliding tackle from behind on Sigurdsson which should have been accompanied by a swannee whistle (Spurs midfielder sails through the air) and drum roll (comes back down to earth).
29 min: Dembele jinks down the middle before slipping the ball wide to Rose. The full back's in space, but he blooters his cross over the bar. A promising situation passed up.
27 min: Glisic skedaddles down the inside-left channel and slips the ball along the flank to Xisco, who hammers goalwards from a tight angle. The shot's deflected, but the home side don't get the corner. And then, in the next phase of play, Grigalashvili is nudged over by Rose as he scampers down the right, but again there's no decision benefitting the hosts. This is, suddenly, a good response from Dinamo.
25 min: A brilliant backheel by Merebashvili sends Kvirkvelia away down the left. The ball's whipped into the area, onto the pate of Dvali, who glances a high-speed header towards the bottom-right corner. Lloris parries round the post wonderfully well. So close to the equaliser.
22 min: After a couple of minutes' break, as Townsend is sponged down by Mr Magic, Sigurdsson steps up and whips a free kick into the right-hand side netting. That wasn't far from whistling into the top corner. A fine effort.
20 min: Townsend zips in from the right and is whacked by Gvelesiani. That'll be a free kick to the right of the D, and a yellow for the Dinamo defender. "Had a certain Welshman scored that goal everyone would be going on about it," suggests Iain Clark. We're hearing Townsend's already the subject of a not-that-much-less-ludicrous £150m bid from Rayo Vallecano.
17 min: Townsend is up for this today. He bustles down the inside-right channel, reaching the byline. He looks to have run the ball out of play, but a couple of panicking blue shirts turn up to somehow twang it back into the danger area. Soldado has the ball at his feet, a couple of yards from goal, tight by the right-hand post. He attempts to blast past Loria, but the keeper stands firm, and eventually the ball's cleared. So nearly a second for Spurs, who are looking very dangerous.
15 min: That's caused the home fans a wee bit of emotional tumult, but after a while the volume's turned up again. The folk in the stands are bouncing. They're nearly launching themselves into orbit as the busy Dvali robs Kaboul, who is fannying around on the edge of his own D. He's only got Lloris to beat, but blasts a low shot wide right, the shot bouncing off the supporting stanchion behind the goal and back onto the field. The referee blows for a soft free kick to save Kaboul's blushes, a decision that'd never have been given in Nat Lofthouse's day, I'll be bound.
Corner to Dinamo down the right. It's cleared by Sigurdsson. Naughton helps the ball on to Townsend, who races from the halfway line to the edge of the Dinamo box, and fizzes a superlative shot into the bottom-right corner! What a wonderful breakaway goal!
10 min: Tottenham are enjoying the lion's share at the moment. Dembele, Paulinho and Townsend take turns to spin around in attractive circles. Eventually Paulinho tries to spring Soldado free down the inside right, but his attempted sliderule pass has a few too many joules of energy applied to it.
8 min: It's a nice, open, jaunty end-to-end affair, this. First Soldado causes a wee bit of bother on the edge of the Dimano area before losing control. Then Xisco is found diddling around down the left, only to be knocked off the ball by Naughton. And now Paulinho's racing down the inside-right channel and lashing a hopelessly poor effort miles right and high to boot.
5 min: Dvali, angered at the offside decision, runs around attacking people with the branch of a tree. OK, no he doesn't.
4 min: Dinamo have the ball in the Spurs net, but it's not going to count. Dvali has been sprung clear down the inside left channel, and hooks the ball inside to Xisco, who lobs home from the edge of the area. But Lloris can't be bothered to join in, as he's spotted the flag going up and the referee parping his whistle. And indeed Dvali - a dead ringer for Keith out of Nuts in May - was about 16 yards offside.
3 min: Grigalashvili goes on a determined skitter down the right, but Dembele is back quickly to brush him off the ball.
In a half-full Boris Paichadze Stadium - named after the leading scorer of the 1937 Soviet League - Tottenham get the ball rolling. Are Spurs not a big draw in Georgia, then? All that Richard Scudamore big talk. Greatest league in the world. The home side seem pretty happy to let Spurs stroke it around a bit.
Here come the players! Dinamo sport a very fetching dark-blue outfit that's not a million miles away from the garb France wore at Euro 2012. Tottenham sport a new all-white uniform that's not a million miles away from the garb Tottenham wore in 2012/13.
Dinamo Tbilisi: Loria, Khurtsilava, Giorgi Gvelesiani, Kvaratskhelia, Glisic, Grigalashvili, Dzaria, Kvirkvelia, Merebashvilli, Xisco, Dvali.
Subs: Zarkua, Ustaritz, Khocholava, Seturidze, Papava, Goga, Vouho.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose, Paulinho, Dembele, Capoue, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Soldado.
Subs: Friedel, Walker, Chadli, Carroll, Fryers, Kane, Coulthirst.
Referee: Pol van Boekel (Holland)
The proud European record of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is, in the wider world, strangely underplayed. They were the first English side to win a pot in continental competition. Only Internazionale, Juventus and Liverpool have won more Uefa Cups. Only Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have taken more European trophies back to Britain. Spurs have more Uefa-stamped prizes to their name than giants such as PSV, Red Star Belgrade, Lazio, Celtic, Rangers, Fiorentina, Manchester City, Everton, Marseille, Napoli and Paris Saint Germain. And do they get much credit for it outside of the London borough of Haringey?
Their recent record doesn't help the perception, with no serious tilt at a European prize since Tony Parks made himself a hero 29 years ago against Anderlecht. A smattering of quarter-final defeats, *that* famous game at Internazionale in 2010 when
Phillipe Coutinho Gareth Bale announced himself as a world star, and little else. But with the pocket Daniel Levy keeps his cheque book in doubling as a toaster this summer, Spurs suddenly have a world-class squad deep enough, Bale or no Bale, to have a decent crack at the Champions League, never mind the Europa League they actually find themselves in. They're the bookies favourites to lift Europe's secondary trophy at the Juventus Stadium next May, 30 years after the last one.
But before they begin their campaign, they've got to negotiate their way past Dinamo Tbilisi in the play-off stage first. Dinamo won the Georgian league last season, but didn't make the Champions League cut after being defeated by Steaua Bucharest in the qualifiers of the big one. Their main man is goalscorer Xisco Munoz, who scored 24 times in the league last season, and already has one to his name in the new campaign. Whether the Georgians will be wary of history is a moot point: they were knocked out of the 73/74 Uefa Cup by Spurs, and were beaten in the group stage of the 04/05 Uefa Cup by Newcastle United, but they put West Ham United out of the 80/81 Cup Winners Cup, and famously knocked Liverpool out of the European Cup in 79/80, winning both of those match-ups by a thumping 4-2 aggregate score.
So can Tottenham join Anzhi Makhachkala, Bordeaux, Freiburg, Lazio, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Valencia, Vitoria Guimaraes and Wigan Athletic in the group stage? Kick off is at 8pm in the Boris Paichadze National Stadium, Tbilisi, 5pm for those of us stuck at home watching on Independent Television's fourth service,
ABC in the Midlands ITV4.