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Keane completes Italian job

Posted on 7 August 2010  - 12:00

Robbie Keane's last-minute goal earned a well-deserved 3-2 win against Fiorentina in our final friendly of the summer at the Lane.

Keane completes Italian job

Robbie Keane's last-minute goal earned a well-deserved 3-2 win against Fiorentina in our final friendly of the summer at the Lane.

The striker finished in typical, clinical style after Jake Livermore's pass sent him clear on goal in the 90th minute.

Keane collected the ball, sprinted into the box and sidefooted past Vlada Avramov.

It was no more than we deserved after dominating the second half against the Serie A side.

Trailing 2-1 at the break, we knocked, knocked and knocked again after Keane's first goal levelled it at 2-2 on 57 minutes.

It looked like we might run out of time - before Keane struck again with 89.47 on the clock.

We were on top in the first half as well, but the Serie A side proved clinical in front of goal to initially open the scoring and then go ahead again agains the run of play.

Two chances, two goals - exactly what you expect at the top level of European football.

So the lads deserve full credit for turning it around in the second half as we now prepare for the big kick-off in the Barclays Premier League against Manchester City at the Lane next week.

Back to Saturday and Ledley King stepped out at the Lane for the first time in pre-season as Harry Redknapp went with a 4-4-2 system against the Italians.

Sebastien Bassong returned from a slight knee injury to partner King and Roman Pavlyuchenko joined Peter Crouch up front. Aaron Lennon and Giovani dos Santos provided the width with Pavlyuchenko often dropping off the front to provide the link play.

The game had hardly settled when we found ourselves a goal down.

Papa N'Diaye Waigo had time to pick his cross from the right and clipped an inch-perfect ball that just drifted over King and allowed Alberto Gilardino to plant his header into the corner.

We took control for the next half-hour or so.

Lennon's cross deflected onto the top of the crossbar before Giovani and Wilson Palacios opened it up for Crouch to fire inches wide.

The equaliser had to come and it was no surprise to see Giovani as the architect.

Fiorentina right-back Gianluca Comotto looked in little danger but lingered on the ball too long and Gio snapped in to win possession, burst into the box and drew out goalkeeper Sebastien Frey before squaring for Pavlyuchenko to roll into an empty net.

Giovani set-up an overhead chance for Crouch but we were then hit again by a goal out of nowhere.

Marchionni found himself in plenty of space on the left and had time to pick out Adem Ljajic, who cushioned home his volley from 12 yards. A bit of a jolt before the interval.

The manager made three substitutions at the break with Tom Huddlestone, Niko Kranjcar and Keane on for Jenas, Lennon and Crouch. Giovani switched to the right, Kranjcar on the left.

It didn't take long for us to get on top again.

Palacios lashed just wide from 25 yards on 54 minutes before the equaliser three minutes later.

Huddlestone pulled down a high ball before playing a slide-rule pass to Keane, who made no mistake, firing across Frey into the far corner.

Frey produced the save of the match to turn away Huddlestone's free-kick five minutes later and King failed to connect from Younes Kaboul's low cross in front of goal.

Three more substitutes arrived on 68 minutes with Carlo Cudicini, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose replacing Gomes, King and Pavlyuchenko. Giovani moved centrally to support Keane.

We continued to search for the winner. Kranjcar's 25-yarder took a slight deflection and cannoned off the post and Keane couldn't quite gather in Giovani's pass when he would have been through on goal, 74 minutes on the clock.

Kyle Naughton and Jake Livermore entered the fray for Palacios and Assou-Ekotto on 78 minutes and Rose drilled just wide from the edge of the box two minutes later.

Rose was tripped up on the charge soon after but got up quickly, took a quick free-kick and Frey had to be alert as Kranjcar went for the top corner from 25 yards.

You just felt that a goal was coming and it finally arrived in the final minute as Livermore released Keane and the striker finished the Italian job.

Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes (Cudicini. 68); Kaboul, King (Walker, 68), Bassong, Assou-Ekotto (Naughton, 78); Lennon (Kranjcar, 46), Jenas (Huddlestone, 46), Palacios (Livermore, 78), Giovani; Pavlyuchenko (Rose, 68), Crouch (Keane, 46). Subs: Dawson, Corluka.

Fiorentina (4-4-2): Frey; Comotto, Natali, Felipe, Pasqual; Waigo, Donadel, Zanetti, Marchioni; Ljajic, Gilardino. Subs: Avramov, Kroldrup, Babacar, Santos, Montolivo, Agyei, D'Agostino, Seferovic, Bolatti, Silvestri, Gulan.