Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.
NextGen Series – Group 4
Stadio Comunale di Bresso,
Via Grazia Deledda.
Thursday 8th December 2011,
FC INTERNAZIONALE v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
(Blue/Black) (All White)
Raffaele Di Gennaro 1 Jonathan Miles
Simone Percorini 2 Kevin Stewart
Ibrahima Mbaye 3 Daniel Day
Marek Kysela 4 Massimo Luongo(C)
Matteo Bianchetti 5 Mirko Veljkovic
Crisetig 6 Jake Nicholson
Andrea Romano(C) 7 Alex Pritchard
Joseph Duncan 8 Laste Dombaxe
Samuele Longo 9 Souleymane Coulibaly
Daniel Bessa 10 Harry Kane
Rodrigo Alborno 11 Tomislav Gomelt
Matteo Cincilla 12 Kudus Oyenuga
Lukas Spendlhofer 13 Billy Granger
Eugenio Giannetti 14 Ronnie Hawkins
Marco Benassi 15 Jack Munns
Gianmarco Falasca 16
Roberto Candido 17
Giovanni Terrani 18
Percorini 16 Pritchard 26
A. Stramaccioni T. Sherwood
Referee:- Mr. Chiffi
Assistants:- Mr. Callari, Mr. Razzato
Having left England on a chilly morning I arrived at the ground bathed in warm sunshine. Unfortunately the view of the pitch was from across a running track but I pitched myself next to the Inter camera in the company of the NextGen representative. I went on the pitch which was firmer than we are used to at the Lodge and which gave a lot of bounce to the ball.
Spurs lined up with Veljkovic and Nicholson at the back with Stewart on the right and Day on the left. Luongo and Dombaxe started in the centre of midfield with Gomelt on the right flank and Pritchard on the left. Kane supported Coulibaly up front.
Spurs defended the south end in the first half and were soon under pressure from the home side. Spurs' players looked to be on the back foot too often as Inter hit long balls beyond them utilising the strength of Longo and the pace of Romano and Alborno to support. They also closed down the Spurs midfield quickly getting in some strong tackles.
Romano fired wide early on before Luongo managed to get a shot in that went wide. Miles had to save from Longo who deflected a shot from Alborno just in front of him. Alborno fired over with his next effort. Miles gave the ball away to Bessa but made up for it by saving his low drive.
A long diagonal ball from the right beat Stewart and was picked up by Alborno who centred for Percorini to steer it past Miles to open the scoring. Alborno fired the ball into the net but was ruled offside as Inter continued to press. Longo was wide with an overhead kick at the near post before Spurs began to string passes together and offer some good approach play.
Coulibaly was played in on the right and fired in a cross shot that Di Gennaro could not hold. Pritchard followed up to put it into the net from very close range. That goal woke the visitors up and they steadily got more and more into the game. Di Gennaro saved a free kick from Kane after the sting had been taken out of it by the wall. Bianchetti headed wide from a corner and the ever dangerous Longo drew a save from Miles for another corner. Duncan drove wide from a corner and Longo fired over. Longo forced his way past two defenders on the left and crossed for Romano to fire wide at the far post.
Spurs made one change at the interval replacing Gomelt with Oyenuga to add more threat up front. Inter left Longo to operate on his own up front as they sought to combat the Spurs midfield. The Inter striker proved more than capable of holding his own, firing wide from a Romano pass. Kane hit the post with a low drive, while Longo won a corner from Miles' save. He followed that up by drawing another save to win another corner. Bessa got up in support to fire over and Alborno latched onto a cross from Romano but could not keep his effort down.
When Bianchetti broke out on a counter attack Stewart tripped him as he forced his way past to earn a yellow. The referee then gave another yellow card when Longo was nudged off the ball -no mean feat. It looked like Dombaxe to me but other reports give it to Day or Nicholson so I cannot be sure without a TV replay.
Inter replaced Romano to add fresh attacking ideas as they sought to win the game. Bianchetti's header was pushed up onto the underside of the bar by Miles' excellent save at close range. The ball ran clear.
Oyenuga drew a save from Di Gennaro who quickly sent the ball upfield where Alborno fired wide. Sherwood sent on Hawkins for Pritchard as he looked to close out the game. The last word went to Longo who forced Miles into a save just before the ref blew for time.
Inter were caught out by Spurs in the first game between these two (Spurs 7 Inter 1 - 31st August 2011)and it was Spurs' turn to suffer here. They weathered the storm and looked like they were going to get on top at the end of the first half. As Spurs began to take a hold of the midfield Inter began to exhibit the bad old traits of diving and niggling fouls. They still caused Spurs trouble at the back by simply knocking the ball forward for Longo to battle for. I was very impressed with him as none of our defenders could hold him.
We now have to wait until after Christmas for the dates to be arranged for the next round of games. The draw means we top the group and play Liverpool at home while Inter have all but secured second place from FC Basel who they play last. Being an English side Liverpool will not be easy opponents and we will have to see if they play the game at Spurs Lodge or a proper ground. (Ed: Early NextGen publicity suggests that the game will be held at "our home stadium", although that is open to interpretation)
Many thanks indeed to Ray for his marvellous efforts to bring us exclusive eye witness reports home and away in this tournament
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