By Zoran Milosavljevic
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur closed in on a berth in the Champions League knockout stages after two goals from Son Heung-min and one each by Giovani Lo Celso and Christian Eriksen gave them a resounding 4-0 Group B win at Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday.
The result left Spurs second in the group on seven points from four games, five behind leaders Bayern Munich who sealed a last-16 berth with two games to spare after a 2-0 home win over Olympiakos Piraeus.
Third-placed Red Star have three points and Olympiakos one.
Tottenham dominated the opening stages but almost fell behind in the 23rd minute after Red Star striker Milan Pavkov powered his way through the middle only for keeper Paulo Gazzaniga to deny him with a fine reflex save.
Lo Celso, who is on loan at Spurs from Spanish side Real Betis, fired the visitors ahead in the 34th after a pinball-styled scramble in Red Star’s six-yard box which left both sets of fans momentarily baffled.
Harry Kane hit the post while Son had one shot cleared off the line and saw another crash against the underside of the bar before Lo Celso turned the ball in from point blank range.
Red Star came closing to equalising on the stroke of halftime in almost identical fashion as Dutch forward Rajiv Van la Parra hit the post and the rebound cannoned off Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez on to the crossbar.
Son made it 2-0 in the 57th minute when he buried a left-footed shot from eight metres into the roof of the net from a flowing move as Spurs broke out of their own half, with Dele Alli feeding the Korean forward.
With Red Star reeling, Son added the third four minutes later after another lightning Spurs break, blasting in a first-time shot from close range following an inch-perfect low cross by left back Danny Rose.
Late substitute Eriksen added the gloss when he tucked the ball past goalkeeper Milan Borjan at the near post after another fine assist by the lively Rose.
Many Red Star fans left the Rajko Mitic stadium in a hurry before the final whistle, with several hundred visiting Spurs supporters in full swing.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)