PEACE CUP FINAL
(Seoul, S. Korea)
SUNDAY 24TH JULY, 2005
LYON 1 (0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (3)
Berthod (o.g.), 7
Keane, 9, 45
Ben Arfa (pen), 74
Referee: - Mr J. C. KWON
Lyon (4-2-3-1):- Coupel; Reveilliere (sub Diatta, 46), Cris, Cacapa (Capt.), Berthod (sub Monsoreau, 51); Diarra (sub Ben Arfa, 58), Pedretti; Govou, Essien (sub Clement, 75), Malouda; Wiltord (sub Frau, 58)
Unused subs included Carew
Booked:- Cris, Essien
Spurs (4-4-2):- Cerny; Kelly, King (Capt.), Gardner, Edman (sub Bunjevcevic, 36); Routledge, Tainio (sub Mendes, 46, sub Marney, 87)), Carrick, Reid; Mido (sub Kanoute, 67), Keane (sub Defoe, 65)
Booked:- Mido, Gardner
(This report is culled from TV coverage, and an exclusive report from South Korea will be posted at Spurs Odyssey asap)
Spurs won the Peace Cup in South Korea today with a fine performance against Champions League side Lyon, coached by former Liverpool man, Gerard Houllier. A very sizeable crowd saw Spurs come out of the blocks very quickly, with two goals in the first nine minutes, from which the French side never recovered, although they did put Spurs under considerable pressure, especially as the Lilywhites fell back to defend their 3-goal half-time lead. Robbie Keane was the star with two goals, but both were crafted by Reid and Mido.
Even though the game was a friendly, Spurs were truly challenged by a team playing in the Continental style we have seen from the likes of PSV in pre-season friendlies, with two midfielders sitting in front of the defence (Diarra and Pedretti) Ė both of whom were also attacking foils. The next bank of midfield featured Govou on the right, Chelsea target Essien in the middle and Malouda on the left, with ex-gooner Sylvian Wiltord trying to score as a lone front runner.
Spurs fielded possibly their first choice midfield for the forthcoming season, with Routledge and Reid as the wing-men, often taking the narrow path as liked by Martin Jol, and Teemu Tainio and Carrick in the middle. Tainio was worryingly carried off just before half time, but we have seen enough from him to feel confident about his contribution to the Spurs cause. He is strong, makes good tackles and interceptions and has a neat line in angled probing passes.
The centre-back pairing of Ledley King and Gardner held firm against what became an onslaught at times, with less confident support from Kelly and Edman. Edman was also replaced quite early on by Goran Bunjevcevic, who may be finding a path back into the first team squad with his deputising ability at left back. Mido and Keane worked tirelessly and effectively up front and in the clammy atmosphere had to be replaced mid-way through the second half, though Robbie Keane looked none too happy at being deprived the chance of a hat-trick.
Clearly Spurs were treating this game seriously as there was a pre-match intensive huddle. Tainio made an early interception and passed to Robbie Keane in the area. Robbie went down under Reveilliereís challenge, but no penalty was awarded. Routledge had a half-chance after 5 minutes, when a more athletic looking Mido made a cross from the left, and the right-winger made a cross cum shot that was half-hit into no-manís land. Spurs were passing and moving quickly, and incisively which was the key to all their goals. Firstly Routledge ran from the middle and quickly spread the play to Kelly on the right. The Spurs right-back made a cross, but Lyonís left-back Berthold hit a glancing header that beat keeper Coupel to start the Spurs celebrations.
Two minutes later, the lead was doubled in style, as Reid sent Mido away down the left with a great ball from about half-way. Mido made an early cross and it was a Robbie Keane header that secured the second goal!
Now Lyon responded and Wiltord was too often caught offside to be a major threat. Cerny was not to know that Wiltordís 11th minute effort was offside as he saved well, not for the first time. I have every confidence in Cernyís ability to deputise should Paul Robinson not be fit. In fact, Cerny is battling to hold the place! Next Wiltord glanced the ball onto the post, but was again offside, and then Cerny came out to smother his illegal effort after a ball from Essien. In the 16th minute, Tainio tried to place a curling free kick to the left of the keeper, but it was easily held. Malouda got goalside of Kelly, but Cerny came to the rescue again, before Andy Reid hit a shot from 25 yards that was tipped over.
I thought Reid looked really fit today, and he must surely have laid the ghost of any further comments about his build. He lasted the full 90 minutes, and Houllier had to replace right-back Reveilliere at half-time, as Reid was leaving him in his trail. Mid-way through the pulsating first half, Robbie Keane crossed from the left side of the area, Routledge put the ball in for Mido but the Lyon keeper was brave and stretched to punch clear from Mido at waist height. After Reid left that man behind, he crossed for Mido, who fed Keane, adjudged to have handled in the box, as the ball was cleared anyway.
Just before the break, Pedretti sent Wiltord away with a great ball from deep, but Cerny was alert as always. Then came a great third goal for Spurs, as Reid sent Mido away down the left, and the quick low cross was converted by Robbie, this time with a low hit shot.
After the break, Spurs were happy to let Lyon press them, and they survived without too much trouble. All they had to show for their efforts at the other end was a Reid effort that was curled wide after a Routledge ball. Around the hour mark, Ledley made a great block from Govouís shot, and Cerny made a really sharp save from Diattaís glanced header from a corner. Lyon only scored in the end thanks to what looked a harsh penalty decision against Ledley King. Firstly the short cross from the left seemed to strike Ledley rather than it being a case of hand to ball. Secondly, Spurs protested (Gardner too vehemently) that the ball hit the shoulder. Nonetheless, Ben Arfa stepped up to put the ball beneath Cerny who dived the correct way (left) but went over the ball.
Lyon substitutes Ben Arfa and Frau had looked dangerous, but Lyonís best shot came from Govou, cutting in from the left, then hitting a glorious right foot dipping shot that Cerny tipped over the bar. Marney replaced Mendes for the last couple of minutes, and after a foul on Defoe, hit a great free kick that Coupel had to push round the corner with his left hand.
Spurs looked more comfortable during the three added minutes, and the Peace Cup (and the useful booty of £2,000,000 dollars) was theirs to cap a great tour to South-East Asia, and to give every reason for confidence in some level of achievement in the new season. Itís just sad that we will have to wait at least a year to be tested against such good Continental opposition. Letís hope the wait is enjoyable and worthwhile!
∑ Read "Johnny Hotspur's" eye-witness report here
Top of page | Index to 2005-6 Friendly Matches & Reports