FRIDAY 5TH AUGUST, 2016
(Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 (2) INTERNAZIONALE 1(1)
Kane 4(pen), 56
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vorm (sub Lloris, 46); Walker (sub Trippier, 46), Alderweireld, Carter-Vickers, Rose (sub Davies, 46); Dier (sub Amos, 85), Mason (sub Winks, 46); Lamela (sub Edwards, 82), Alli(sub Harrison, 76), Eriksen (sub Janssen, 46); Kane (Capt.) (sub Carroll, 62)
Subs not used:- McGee; Walkes, Wimmer,
Booked:- Mason (foul on Kondogbia), Eriksen (foul), Lamela (foul)
Handanovic; Ansaldi (sub Melo De Carvalho, 60), Miranda (sub Bessa, 75), Murillo (sub Yao Guy, 75), DíAmbrosio, Brozocvic (sub Nagatomo, 60), Kondogbia, Biabany, Banega, Peresic (sub Jovetic, 60), Icardi (Capt.) (sub Ranocchia, 75)
Subs not used:- Carizzo, Berni, Palacio, Erkin
Booked:- Melo De Carvalho (foul)
Spurs sending a message to the Premier League?
Who can say just how good a performance this was by Mauricio Pochettinoís Spurs? Who can say how strong a side was fielded by Roberto Manciniís Inter? The Italian sideís starting line-up was described as ďstrongĒ by the commentators, and with an excellent equalizing goal by Croatian International Ivan Perisic, they looked like matching Spurs, who had taken an early penalty goal lead through Harry Kane. Erik Lamela, once again very influential for Spurs, scored an excellent goal before the break, but then Spurs went on a second half four goal rampage, simply overwhelming their eminent opponents, who this season play in The Europa League, whilst Spurs will once again grace The Champions League.
Our opening Premier League match on August 13th at Goodison Park will be the real proof of our form, but really nothing could have gone better today for Pochettinoís men. Harry Kane opened his account with a penalty, won by Kyle Walker, then scored an excellent second half goal to make it 4-1. Vincent Janssen replaced Eriksen at half-time and for a while showed that spurs could play 4-4-2 with Janssen and Kane in tandem. Janssen opened his senior Spurs account too.
Dele Alli was his spiky self, and very influential with it, also scoring a cracker in which Janssen had a hand, whilst managing to lay on Janssenís goal despite being fouled as he approached the Inter area. Pochettino was also able to give game time to Harry Winks, who I thought looked confident and sharp. Shayon Harrison replaced Alli and scored within a minute of entering the field of play. Thatís a moment he will savour!
Spurs fielded a strong side, with arguably 8 of the 11 who Pochettino will hope to field at Everton. Vorm, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Ryan Mason likely to be the replaced men in that game. Carter-Vickers (still only 18 remember) played 90 minutes beside player of last season Toby Alderweireld. Toby was masterful. Cameron had one or two tricky moments in the first half, but the Spurs defence was hardly challenged after the break.
There was very vocal Spurs crowd in attendance and it wasnít long before the Dele Alli song got an airing. I donít think the team from the wrong end of Seven Sisters Road got a mention till late in the game.
Harry Kane had already been shoved in the back in the first few minutes for what I thought should have been a penalty, but when Kyle Walker went down it almost looked as if the referee was making up for his earlier decision. Harry made no mistake from the spot. That was the best possible start for Spursí top scorer of the last two seasons, and last seasonís Premier League top scorer.
Ryan Mason should have made it 2-0 for Spurs after 9 minutes, when he was teed up from the right by Eriksenís good pass. Mason was at the near post but fired just wide the wrong side of the post. Mason actually got the first yellow card of a game which was not being treated as a friendly by many of the players! Inter had already put in some quite heavy challenges.
Banega had a chance for Inter, but the ball flew high past Vormís left corner, with the keeper perhaps struggling to give himself any chance of saving.
Spurs were starting to make me feel a little twitchy at times with their insistence on a short passing game from the back, which often led to the ball being lost or given away before they had got out of their half. Pochís men are drilled to play short passes to men who might be well marked, but the plan is to move the ball on quickly. When the plan works, the team look excellent.
It looked as if Walker was going to get a shot on goal after good work by Lamela and Mason, but the Inter defence managed to block the effort on goal. Peresic got his equalizer in the 24th minute, picking the ball up on the left and rifling a shot past Vorm. Lamela gave Spurs the half-time lead with a superb strike from the edge of the box after Harry Kane had passed inside from the right.
Spurs went 3-1 up six minutes in to the second half, after Dele Alliís one-two with Janssen before the England International struck the ball home sweetly with his left foot. Interís heads went down and Spurs would never look back, nor would they look in danger, truth be told.
Kieran Trippier floated in a high cross to the back post. Harry Kaneís header rebounded off the post and Lamela tried and failed to score with his trailing leg! Spurs had switched both full backs at half-time and once again such a strategy will form an important part of Pochettinoís rotation policy.
Harry Kaneís second goal followed good team-work with Dele Alli, Janssen and Lamela to the fore. After Tom Carroll had replaced Kane, Janssen made it 5-1 after that run by Alli. The referee, to his credit, allowed the ball to run with Alli floored outside the box, and Janssenís strikerís instinct put him on hand to finish off. Janssen played a part in the sixth goal, before Lamelaís final pass gave Shayon Harrison a comfortable finish for his first senior goal.
Marcus Edwards was granted another cameo, and got into the box with one good run. I can see Edwards and Harrison perhaps getting some League Cup action this season.
After the disappointment of Spursí mini tour to Melbourne, Australia without their Euro 2016 players, this match certainly whetted my appetite for the season to come, and I am now counting the hours until Goodison a week tomorrow!
∑ Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
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