Vertonghen, Defoe lead Tottenham past Sheriff

Tiraspol, Moldova ( - Tottenham scored on both sides of halftime at the Sheriff Stadium on Thursday to rise to the top of Group K of the Europa League with a 2-0 defeat of Sheriff Tiraspol.

Jan Vertonghen produced the opening goal in just the 12th minute when he got on the end of a cross from Christian Eriksen and nodded the ball into the upper corner.

Jermain Defoe wrapped up the affair in the 75th minute when his shot from distance received a deflection on its way past Vjekoslav Tomic.

Defoe has played a starring role for Spurs in the Europa League this term as his five goals in their first three group games have given the club maximum points, bringing the side five points clear of Anzhi following its 1-0 defeat of Tromso on Thursday.

In Group A, four first-half goals powered Valencia to a 5-1 rout against St Gallen while Michu's 67th-minute strike was canceled out by Djbril Cisse's late penalty in Swansea City's a 1-1 draw with Kuban Krasnodar.

In Group B, Hristo Zlatinski's goal just before halftime was enough to give Ludogorets a 1-0 win over Chornomorets while PSV Eindhoven was held to a 0-0 draw at Dinamo Zagreb.

In Group C, Hans Henrik Andreasen provided a brace to lead Esbjerg to a 2-1 win over Elfsborg while Standard Liege's two red cards cost the club a 2-1 loss at Red Bull Salzburg.

In Group D, Alexander Prudnikov and Nick Powell exchanged goals in Rubin Kazan's 1-1 draw at Wigan while Maribor netted three unanswered goals in a 3-1 victory over Zulte Waregem.

In Group E, Fiorentina cruised to a 3-0 rout of Pandurii while Dnipro's two goals inside the final seven minutes handed the club a dramatic 2-0 defeat of Pacos Ferreira.

In Group F, Eintracht Frankfurt maintained its perfect Europa League record with a 2-0 defeat of Maccabi Tel-Aviv while Bordeaux picked up its first win in group play with a 2-1 win over APOEL.

In Group G, Dynamo Kyiv cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Swiss side Thun while Racing Genk and Rapid Vienna split the points in a 1-1 draw in Belgium.

In Group H, Vitolo helped Sevilla make the most of a man advantage as his goal two minutes from time granted the club a 1-1 draw against 10-man Liberec while Freiburg and Estoril scored on opposite sides of halftime in a 1-1 draw.

In Group I, Clement Grenier produced the goal that gave Lyon a 1-0 defeat of Rijeka and Alvaro Vadillo Cifuentes was the lone scorer in Real Betis' 1-0 victory over Guimaraes.

In Group J, Lazio was held to a 0-0 at Apollon Limassol while Trabzonspor scored early and late in a 2-0 defeat of Legia Warsaw.

In Group L, PAOK stayed atop the group by coming from two goals down to get a 3-2 victory over Maccabi Haifa while AZ Alkmaar maintained its second-place position with a 1-1 draw at Shakhter Karagandy.