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Friendlies end in a flourish

Posted on 9 August 2009  - 12:00

Our pre-season campaign ended in victory after a 3-0 defeat of Greek champions Olympiacos at The Lane.

Friendlies end in a flourish

Our pre-season campaign ended in victory after a 3-0 defeat of Greek champions Olympiacos at The Lane.

After a goal-less first half, a host of substitutions at the break swung the clash in favour of Harry Redknapp's side.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, Vedran Corluka and Jermain Defoe were all on target in a comfortable win a week before the season begins.

Prior to kick-off, our three major summer signings, Kyle Naughton, Peter Crouch and Sebastien Bassong, were introduced to the fans.

No doubt all in attendance for the game were desperate to see our newest additions in action, and striker Crouch was certainly the busier of the trio during the first half.

He climbed highest to meet David Bentley's third minute free-kick but headed over from six yards, and just failed to connect with another set-piece from the same man at a similar distance a few minutes later.

On 19 minutes came the England international's best moment, linking up with Tom Huddlestone on the edge of the box before a trademark turn and volley that whistled past the post.

Crouch tested Olympiacos goalkeeper and captain Adonis Nikopolidis for the first time a minute later, meeting Danny Rose's pinpoint ball but sending a header straight at the stopper.

Defender Bassong, signed from Newcastle during the week, also came close to connecting with a Bentley corner on 13 minutes.

The visitors had two sightings of goal in the first 45 minutes. Dudu was allowed to shoot inches wide from the edge of the box on 10 minutes, and Diogo put wide after good work from another former Newcastle man, Didier Domi, three minutes before the break.

Cue no less than seven substitutions from our manager at the interval, including last season's Player of the Year, Aaron Lennon, and the in-form Defoe.

Both looked to make an impact as soon as they entered the fray. Lennon fed Defoe in the first minute of the half, and space opened up for the striker to run into the box and fire across goal, although nobody was on-hand to tap home.

Defoe then displayed his strength moments later when he turned a defender on the edge of the box before stinging substitute goalkeeper Urko Pardo's palms with a shot.

Lennon then had an opening himself five minutes into the half. He started the move by feeding Pascal Chimbonda wide on the right, his cross was met by the head of Huddlestone, and it sat up nicely for the winger to volley, although the shot was deflected into Pardo's grateful hands.

Pavlyuchenko had also been introduced at the break, but he had not seen much of the action until he opened the scoring on 66 minutes.

Luka Modric fed Lennon in the box, and with one touch he laid off for the Russian to slam home at the near post.

Both Bassong and Chimbonda were denied by some last ditch defending before we doubled the lead three minutes later.

Modric's corner was flicked on by Bassong, Pavlyuchenko fired across goal, and there was Vedran Corluka to tap home for his first goal in our colours.

Olympiacos' only opening of the half had come on 57 minutes when Konstantinos Mitroglou sent Carlo Cudicini flying through the air to make a full stretch catch, which he held on to.

But by 77 minutes the game was well and truly out of sight when Defoe received a pass from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, turned Olof Mellberg, and bust into the box to finish and make it three.

The striker could have doubled his tally in stoppage time, but the second half performance here is certainly evidence enough that the lads are in good shape heading into next Sunday's season opener with Liverpool at The Lane.

Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes (Cudicini, 46); Naughton (Chimbonda, 46), Bassong, King (Corluka, 46), Assou-Ekotto; Bentley (Boateng, 67), Huddlestone (Bostock, 80), O'Hara (Modric, 46 (Livermore, 79)), Rose (Lennon, 46); Crouch (Pavlyuchenko, 46), Keane (Defoe, 46). Subs not used: Obika.

Olympiakos (4-1-4-1): Nikopolidis (Pardo, 46); Zewlakow (Gonzalez, 80), A Papadopoulos (Pantos, 80), Mellberg, Domi (Raul Bravo, 80); K Papadopoulos; Galletti (Zairi, 46), Maresca (Ledesma, 56), Dudu (G Papadopoulos, 65), Leonardo (Soiledis, 88); Diogo (Mitroglou, 56).