AUDI CUP SEMI-FINAL
TUESDAY 30TH JULY, 2019
(6pm C.E.T - at the Allianz Arena, Munich)
REAL MADRID 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(1)
Referee:- Tobias Stieler (Germany)
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1):- Navas; Carvajal (sub Odriozola, 80), Varane (sub Nacho, 65), Ramos (Capt.), Marcelo (sub De La Fuente, 80); Modric (sub Seoane, 80), Kroos (sub Valverde 64); Lucas Vazquez (sub Vinicius Junior, 65), Hazard (sub Isco, 80), Rodrygo (sub Kubo, 80); Benzema (sub Mariano, 80)
Subs not used:- Lunin (GK); Altube, J. Hernandez, Gutierrez
Booked:- Ramos (foul on Lucas Moura)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Gazzaniga (sub Lloris, 46); Foyth (sub walker-Peters, 46), Alderweireld (sub Sanchez, 46), Vertonghen (sub Tanganga, 46), Rose (sub Georgiou, 46); Winks (sub Sissoko, 46), Ndombele (sub Skipp, 46); Lamela (sub Dele, 46), Eriksen (sub Lucas Moura, 46), Son (sub Nkoudou, 66); Kane (Capt.) (sub Parrott, 66)
(Armband to Lloris)
Subs not used:- Whiteman (GK); White, Marsh, Roles
Booked:- Georgiou (foul on Lucas Vazquez)
Kane goal puts Spurs through to Audi Cup Final
This was the first of two semi-finals being played today in Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena. Bayern are beating Fenerbahce 5-0 at half-time as I post this report. Harry Kane scored the decisive goal mid-way through the first half, thanks to an errant inside ball by Marcelo. Harry had to finish the job, of course and beat goalkeeper Navas inside his near post. Navas was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half, and had to make two or three crucial saves from a Spurs attack which looked sharper than Real Madrid.
Zinedine Zadan's side must have been truly sore after their weekend 7-3 thrashing at the hands of their local rivals. That game was played as part of the International Champions Cup, in which Spurs are also participating. The Madrid derby was played in the USA. For Spurs this Audi Cup punctuates the ICC tournament which they will conclude on Sunday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Inter.
There was no sign of Gareth Bale, who apparently has not travelled to Germany having been upset by his club's refusal to allow his transfer to China. Goalkeeper Courtois was also absent. Both sides had strong starting line-ups and Kane captained Spurs, who had Foyth at right back, and Danny Rose back in the fold at left back. Harry Winks was partnered by Tanguy Ndombele, who continues to impress.
Comment was being passed about the apparent lack of fitness of Real's new signing from Chelsea Eden Hazard, rumoured to be carrying a little too much timber. Real did create several chances, particularly for Benzema, but they were not hitting the target. The atmosphere was lukewarm with fans of Bayern and Fenerbahce also in the stadium, which does hold 75,000, but at this stage the attendance was sparse. The game was played in humid 26 degree temperatures.
Spurs kicked off and played the ball backwards, of course. They out themselves under immediate pressure and Jan Vertonghen uncharacteristically under-hit a pass which put Gazzaniga under pressure. The goalkeeper had to go full stretch to boot clear from Benzema. At the other end Modric conceded a needless corner, but nothing came of that. A subsequent cross by Danny Rose from the left almost reached Harry Kane but Varane's involuntary touch diverted the ball to Navas.
The Spurs front four was not strict about its formation with Son seen on the left and right and Lamela and Eriksen interchanging too. Lamela lifted a nice ball from the edge of the area for Eriksen who won a corner near the bye-line. After 14 minutes, Benzema passed the ball back from the edge of the Spurs box to Kroos, whose shot took a deflection to win real a corner. The kick was taken by Kroos from the left and cleared only as far as Marcelo outside the area. The left back's shot was well blocked.
Lamela put good ball out to Rose on the left, whose cross intended for Son was intercepted at the cost of a corner. Harry Kane put another ball out to Rose who crossed again. Son had one shot blocked, with Eriksen's follow-up also blocked. A third shot, this one a powerful drive by Ndombele was well saved and gave Spurs another corner. Then came the goal in the 22nd minute, somewhat gifted by Marcelo, but well finished by Kane.
Real fought back and created several chances. A Carvajal cross was met by Benzema but pushed wide of the near post. Another Kroos shot took a deflection and led to another corner. After a further corner the ball fell to Modric outside the spurs area, but his shot was no threat. Rose and Eriksen combined at the other end and Harry Kane had a shot, this time with his left foot, which Navas saved. Modric gave Benzema another opportunity, but again the striker could not hit the target.
Erik Lamela had a great solo run through the middle before sending a good ball to Kane towards the left of the area. Harry probably took a touch too many, giving Navas the chance to save to his left. Lamela took the corner and Toby Alderweireld headed over. The first half did feature several trademark Alderweireld passes, and I just wish Spurs would ensure he stays for not just the forthcoming season, but at least the one after too!
Hazard had a shot deflected for a corner, and Spurs came under a little pressure, after Harry Winks tried a little too much fancy footwork just outside our area. Marcelo's pass inside to Hazard gave the ex-Chelsea man a shot which was well blocked by Toby Alderweireld. Toby then got towards the halfway line and sent a good ball to Kane who was on the left side. Harry could not fully control the ball as he got to the bye-line, and nothing came of the attack. Spurs were called upon to defend again and Foyth did a good job against Marcelo.
Benzema hit yet another chance wide, before Spurs had to clear after a Kroos free kick on the left, which had been taken from a similar position from which he scored in last year's World Cup against Sweden. Spurs won a corner at the other end, although it looked as if Lamela had been fouled just inside the penalty area by Marcelo. VAR might have had something to say about that incident had it been in operation! After the corner, Spurs crossed from the left but Jan Vertonghen hooked his shot wide at the back post.
Mauricio Pochettino made wholesale changes (9 in all) at half-time, with Kane and Son the only survivors from the first half. Zidane kept his powder dry for a while at least, but the second half was disjointed due to the number of changes, with the rookie Spurs defence (plus Davinson Sanchez) holding out well. Tanganga had made a decent impression in this pre-season, and made one brave block late in the game.
Benzema had a shot blocked after receiving from Rodrygo, and after the corner, Lloris was down well to Marcelo's shot. Marcelo was getting too much space down the Spurs' right flank, and when he crossed, Hazard's shot was well blocked by the feet of Tanganga. Son did hit a powerful left footed shot at the other end, which Navas did well to push round his right post. Spurs broke out on the hour with Dele Alli carrying the ball feeding Kane to his right. Harry's shot was blocked. A minute later Lucas Moura hit a lofted pass to Dele, who hit a sharp right footed shot first time with Navas again equal to the attempt upon his goal. The Real defence was then strong against Kane on the left side of the area.
After changes on both sides, with Kane and Son now replaced by Parrott and Nkoudou, Dele hit a clever back-heel pass to Sissoko, whose shot was on target but deflected for a corner. Dele was the recipient of a great ball from the right, possibly by Walker-Peters and felt he was impeded as he tried to bring the ball under control. Marcelo hit a pass from which Rodrygo did have the ball in the net, but both he and Benzema were offside.
With 10 minutes remaining, Zidane made his remaining changes, including an exciting Japanese prospect Kubo, from who Lloris had to save diving low to his right. Troy Parrott saw a shot rebound off the inside of Navas's right post at the other end, having been fed the ball by Nkoudou. Tanganga made that brave block full-face against another Kubo shot, and the referee stopped play for the potential head injury. There was no further real (or should I say Real?) threat of note, and no added time either.
This was a more than satisfactory result, and Spurs now face formidable opposition against the host team in tomorrow's final, kicking off at 7.30pm UK time.
. Spurs could win the Audi Cup tomorrow. If you check out this blackjack game perhaps you could be a winner too!
. Audi Cup Final 2019
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