Harry Redknapp got the test he expected from New York Red Bulls - and was pleased to come away with a 2-1 victory on Thursday night.
The MLS team flew out of the blocks in this opening match of the Barclays New York Challenge at the Red Bull Arena, Harrson, New Jersey.
Carlo Cudicini made two fine saves and Seth Stammler missed an open goal before Thierry Henry slid home a debut goal in the 26th minute.
We created chances ourselves though and deserved an equaliser when Robbie Keane converted from close range after a defensive mix-up from Andros Townsend's corner just after the hour.
The winner arrived 10 minutes later when Tom Huddlestone looked for Gareth Bale over the top, defender Jeremy Hall got his header back to keeper Greg Sutton all wrong and Bale nipped in to score.
Red Bulls still managed to strike the crossbar in what was competitive, high-tempo game for a friendly.
"I wasn't surprised (by Red Bulls), I knew it would be difficult and I thought they had some good players," said Harry.
"The boy up front the number 10 (Macoumba Kandji) was very skillful player, he is from Senegal I think, he has got good ability.
"They have Thierry Henry up there as well now and the American kids at the back were quick, they were a good team.
"They are fit and they were bright. It was difficult but we stuck in there and got the result.
"We went to San Jose and I was impressed with them as well.
"They played well so certainly the league here looks in good shape. I've been really impressed with the two teams I have seen."
Harry revealed that Roman Pavlyuchenko didn't appear after picking up a tight hamstring.
Manchester City play Sporting Lisbon on Friday night before Sunday's double-header with us facing Sporting at 1pm (local time, 6pm UK) and City taking on the Red Bulls at 3.30pm.