A night where everyone in a white (or bright orange) shirt who took part did themselves some good. In particular Holtby and Carroll were lively and creative and Townsend a jinking nuisance – though it has to be said that with this opposition, a pass or a dribble that risked losing possession posed no great danger as the ball was generally returned pretty sharpish.
Defoe did what he does best when given a yard of space and scored with a couple of excellent finishes, the first one, a left foot thunderbolt after Holtby had neatly put him in was especially fine. Holtby himself fired in the third, a 25-yard right foot rasper off the bar.
As the energy drained from a lacklustre Dinamo (as well as the small knot of Georgians who had been sporadically doing their best to make themselves heard) the home players queued up to try and add to the scoreline. Sigurdsson came closest with an effort that crashed off the bar.
Villas-Boas protected the majority of the players that are expected to start on Sunday either by resting them completely or via substitutions. Sandro played the full 90 minutes which I guess means that Capoue and Paulinho will start in midfield. Townsend was withdrawn at half time suggesting that Lennon won’t make it.
Despite all the changes there was plenty of quality and a lot to be pleased with. The draw for the group stage takes place on Friday with the first game being played on, I think, Sept 19th. Only 14 games to Turin.
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