Rukavytsya scores and assists as Spurs smash Maccabi Haifa

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Tottenham booked their spot in the Europa League group stages after Harry Kane's hat-trick helped them to a thumping 7-2 win over Maccabi Haifa as Australian Nikita Rukavytsya scored and assisted for Haifa.

Rukavytsya continued his incredible run of form despite the heavy defeat, with his eighth goal and fourth assist in just his sixth game of the season. 

The former Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory attacker is averaging a goal or assist every 38 minutes this season.

Spurs were playing their third game in just five days, only Toby Alderweireld and Steven Bergwijn kept their places in the starting XI from the side that beat Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Wednesday (AEST).

Tjaronn Chery's wonderful long-range strike cancelled out Kane's second-minute opener but a Lucas Moura header and two goals from Giovani Lo Celso effectively put the game to bed by half-time.  

Rukavytsya and Kane exchanged goals from the penalty spot shortly after the interval before the England captain's third, plus a late Dele Alli penalty, ensured Spurs booked their place in Friday's draw. 

Jose Mourinho's men started in blistering fashion, taking the lead after just 92 seconds when an unmarked Kane turned home Ben Davies' cross from four yards.  

The visitors responded superbly to that early setback and grabbed a deserved equaliser after 17 minutes, Chery thundering into Joe Hart's top corner.  

Their joy was short-lived, however, as Lucas rose highest at the near post to flick Bergwijn's corner past Josh Cohen for his second goal of the season three minutes later.  

Lo Celso then scored twice in the space of three minutes before the break, first whipping inside Cohen's right-hand post from 12 yards and then lifting over the beleaguered goalkeeper from close range after being found by Kane.  

Rukavytsya pulled one back for the visitors in the 52nd minute after Matt Doherty was penalised for handling inside the area, although Kane restored Spurs' advantage four minutes later after Ernest Mabouka had been adjudged to have blocked Davies' cross with his arm. 

Kane then completed his hat-trick in the 74th minute, clipping over Cohen after wonderful work down the left from the impressive Bergwijn, before substitute Alli slotted home a stoppage-time penalty after an audacious piece of skill drew a foul from Bogdan Planic.

What does it mean? Spurs make light of heavy workload 

You would scarcely have known this was Spurs' seventh game of the season already, considering the way they ripped through the opposition defence during an electric opening 45 minutes.  

With a Premier League clash against Manchester United up next, there is no respite for Mourinho and his men. The nature of this win, though, means they will pitch up at Old Trafford with a spring in their step at least.  

Lo Celso's first-half masterclass  

Kane will rightly receive the plaudits after his hat-trick but the Argentina international was the game's outstanding player during his 45 minutes on the pitch. He equalled his tally from last season with two fine finishes, while no Spurs player made more than his two key passes in the first half. 

Dele back on the menu

Alli shrugged off speculation over his future with an impressive second-half showing. Introduced for Lo Celso at the break, the English midfielder had three shots and opened his account for the season late on, converting from 12 yards after bamboozling Planic with a wonderful spin inside the area.

What's next?

Mourinho faces a short turnaround to get his players ready for the meeting with United on Sunday, followed by an international break that will give the Portuguese a chance to come up for air.

Source Omnisport