SATURDAY 5TH AUGUST, 2017
(at Wembley Stadium)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1) JUVENTUS 0(0)
Referee:- Martin Atkinson
Fourth official:- Andre Marriner
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier (sub Walker-Peters, 41), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele (sub Wimmer, 90); Sissoko (sub Georgiou, 65), Eriksen 9sub Oakley-Boothe, 90), Dele (sub Winks, 65); Kane (sub Janssen, 78)
Subs not used:- Vorm, Whiteman; Carter-Vickers, Dinzeyi; Miller
Juventus (4-2-3-1):- Buffon (Capt.) (sub Pinsoglio, 76); Lichtsteiner (sub De Sciglio, 46), Rugani (sub Barzagli, 60), Chiellini (sub Benatia, 60), Alex Sandro (sub Asamoah, 46); Khedira (sub Bentancur, 75), Pjanic (sub Marchisio, 46); Douglas Costa (sub Bernardeschi, 60), Dybala, Mandzukic (sub Cuadrado, 46); Higuain (sub Kean, 75)
Subs not used:- Del Favero (GK); Lemina, Rincon
Nice win spoilt by Trippier injury
The hordes of Spurs fans who decided against attending this over-priced friendly match tagged onto the end of the International Champions Cup tournament made a good decision. Despite two very good goals scored by Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, and a good win over last season’s Champions League finalists and Serie A Champions Juventus. Juventus are a week behind Spurs in their pre-season preparations, and it showed in their lack of sharpness and desire in comparison to that of a full strength Spurs team, considering their enforced absentees. On the Juventus side, only Argentinean Paulo Dybala played the full 90 minutes, and the intensity (such as it was) of the game faded with the mass of second half substitutions.
The major worry for Mauricio Pochettino as he now prepares for next week’s opening Premier League game at St. James’ Park, Newcastle is the enforced departure of Kieran Trippier before the end of the first half. Trippier needed treatment after a meaty challenge with Alex Sandro after only three minutes, and whilst he came back on and got the assist for Harry Kane’s headed goal, he suffered another setback late in the half and hobbled off. Trippier was subsequently seen wearing a plaster boot, and using crutches, but the main injury is apparently a twisted ankle, and “Poch” will hope that his new first choice right back will be fit next Sunday. That said, Kyle Walker-Peters did a decent job in the position, and may get a league debut next week.
Both teams started with strong line-ups, but Spurs were missing Victor Wanyama, who has only appeared in our first pre-season game. Son Heung-min was training this week, but was not risked today. Nkoudou is also injured now, and it seems we are going to have to wait a while to see Danny Rose, and even longer to see Erik Lamela.
Moussa Sissoko made his first pre-season appearance on the right of midfield, and had a pretty good game. He made an early showing winning a challenge on the right before Trippier was injured. That first Spurs goal was one of quality, and it was a team goal, starting in our own half with Vertonghen, continuing through Ben Davies on the left, and then involving Kane and Sissoko as the play was stretched to the right. Trippier crossed deep and Harry Kane rose to head first into the ground, and then saw the ball bounce high into veteran keeper Buffon’s net. Soon after the goal, Eriksen had a shot at goal from outside the area and Buffon stretched to his right to save. Dele Alli was fouled but Kane’s free kick was deflected off the wall for a corner.
Juventus fin ally had a meaningful attack when Mandzukic crossed from the left and Dybala hit his shot well over from a central position. A corner from the right was met at the near post by former Real Madrid star Sami Khedira, but that took a deflection and went for another corner. A flick by another one-time Real Madrid man Gonzalo Higuain found Dybala clear on the right of the box. Vertonghen cleared for a corner, from which Higuain’s shot from beyond the back post was well saved to his left by Hugo Lloris.
Eriksen made a good break down the centre and passed to Sissoko who had kept pace with him on the left. Unfortunately, Sissoko was not able to take advantage of the ball. Ben Davies made a great chase and a clean challenge on Mandzukic as he threatened to break clear.
Harry Kane then had two openings but couldn’t take full advantage, as the Juventus defence, and the usually reliable Buffon were somewhat in disarray. However, it was Buffon who prevented Harry from scoring – twice. Firstly at the near post as the ball came from the left wing, and then when Kane tried a return shot from the right of goal. Trippier did well to get a head to a cross which otherwise would have been met by Mandzukic.
Sissoko had a chance as he made a break down the left channel, before hitting a curled right foot shot which beat Buffon, but bounced back across goal off the inside of the post. Dele then had a shot go over the target after Eriksen slid him the ball. After Trippier’s enforced departure, and as we entered added time, Sissoko fed the ball to Kane, whose shot was well blocked by Lichsteiner.
After the break, Juventus made four immediate changes with former Chelsea man Cuadrado one of those introduced. Cuadrado made one or two dodgy decisions from his position on the right wing, but ultimately became one of those who hit the wood work, and brought a good save from Hugo Lloris.
Spurs started the second half strongly, pressing well down the right flank. Walker-Peters and Dembele combined before Eriksen chipped a ball into the box for Dele, who was well closed down by two defenders. Minutes later it was 2-0 to Spurs, and this time Dele was provider for Eriksen, who got in the box on the left and rounded the goalkeeper before sliding the ball home from close range. Two minutes after scoring Eriksen fed the ball to Kane to his left, and Harry hit the bar with a strong left foot shot.
Juventus finally responded with Douglas Costa trying to reach Higuain, but hitting the ball fractionally too high. Cuadrado passed inside to Dybala who fried across goal only to see Hugo make a good save near his post, conceding a corner.
More Juventus substitutions followed, including a recent signing from Fiorentina – Federico Bernadeschi – who played against us in February 2016 in the Europa League. Mousa Dembele had a rare shot at goal after Sissoko laid the ball off for him, but the shot passed wide. Now Spurs began their own tactical substitutions with Harry Winks replacing Dele, and Anthony Georgiou getting another outing in place of Sissoko. A De Sciglio cross was too deep for Khedira, who was among the next batch of substitutions. One of the Juventus replacements now was 17 year old Moise Kean (born in 2000), who actually scored a late goal in Juventus’ last game of the season, securing a win against Bologna. Spurs have also exposed another player born in this millennium – Tashan Oakley-Boothe – who got on late in the game today.
Anthony Georgiou had a nice run down the left, and a shot across Buffon. At the other end Dybala’s ball gave the 17 year old Kean a chance and he hit the bar. Cuadrado also had a shot well saved by the fingertips of Lloris, pushing the ball out off the top of his bar. Spurs spent the latter stages of the game defending en masse, and after an error by Dembele Bernardeschi had a chance, but fired wide.
Those who splashed out and made the effort to attend went home happy, and Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be full of confidence going into the new league programme. I will be at St. James’ Park next week to report in person, albeit from a lofty position!
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