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REPORT: NICE 0, SPURS 1

Posted on 14 July 2006  - 12:00

Ledley King completed 70 minutes on his comeback as Lee Barnard bagged the winner against Nice on Friday night.

Ledley King completed 70 minutes on his comeback as Lee Barnard bagged the winner against Nice on Friday night.

It was defensive kingpin Ledley's first match action since breaking a metatarsal in his foot in Premiership action against Everton on April 15.

Nice provided a decent test for the skipper as well with pacy striker Moussilou a threat especially in the first half - but he couldn't find a way past Marton Fulop, who was inspired in goal as we completed back-to-back wins after Thursday night's success against Bordeaux.

'Barney', who has a nice habit of scoring in these continental friendlies (he did the same in Sweden and Mauritius), struck just before half-time, turning home Jamie O'Hara's cross from close range.

Fulop was the star though with a number of saves right out of the top-drawer in the first half. The pick of the bunch was his first notable action, somehow reacting in time to push out Moussilou's stab from eight yards out after 15 minutes.

He denied the same player three times, low down to his right from 18 yards after 35 minutes and then, seconds after Barnard's goal, flicking out a leg to turn a one-on-one chance around the post.

Jermain Defoe entered the fray for Wayne Routledge at half-time and we took more control of the game in the second half.

However, it took until the 63rd minute for the next goalmouth action as Teemu Tainio squared a clever pass to O'Hara who arrowed a shot towards goal that Lloris saved comfortably.

Defoe - who else - provided the next spark after 70 minutes when he turned away from Yahia and drilled in a shot from 25 yards that Lloris did well to cling onto low to his right.

King departed soon after, replaced by Danny Murphy, and O'Hara tried his luck again, this time a curler from 25 yards that was heading into the top corner until Lloris clawed away.

Nice hit back late on but fluffed their lines in front of goal - most notably when Camara glanced a good headed chance wide.

KEY ACTION

5mins: Campos released Camara, right side of box, had to take early with King approaching and lashed wide from 18 yards.

10mins: Routledge took short corner to O'Hara, couple of yards of space and drove into packed box, cleared away.

13mins: Decent chance as Ghaly made strides into the penalty box, could have shot but laid it to Barnard, he stepped inside Yahia but didn't get enough on effort to trouble Gregorini, who saved low to his right.

15mins: SAVE. Fantastic reflexes from Fulop to deny Nice as Campos' free-kick took a lucky bounce to Moussilou just eight yards out, Fulop up to it diving to his right.

28mins: Routledge burst into box, left channel, beat one man but Abardonado there in nick of time to block shot.

35mins: SAVE. Another sharp Fulop save this time low to his right as Moussilou got the wrong side Ziegler on the edge of the box.

40mins: SAVE. Fulop down well low to his right to palm out Campos' free-kick from 25 yards.

42mins: Campos flick header floated into Fulop's hands.

43mins: GOAL. O'Hara's low cross from the left touchline deflected slightly into the path of the ever-lively Barnard who prodded home from six yards.
Nice 0, Spurs 1

44mins: SAVE. Fulop again as Huddlestone caught out centrally and suddenly Moussilou through on goal again, same right channel, this time a low shot tipped wide via Fulop's right foot.

Half-time: Nice 0, Spurs 1

Half-time: SUB. Defoe for Routledge.

63mins: After a relatively quiet start to the second half in terms of goalmouth action, the first shot at goal came via O'Hara - Tainio played a cleverly-disguised square pass to O'Hara who struck low with his left foot from 20 yards forcing Lloris into a diving save to his right.

64mins: Potential danger as Fanni got his head to Campos' free-kick but flicked wide.

70mins: SAVE. Bit of Defoe magic as spun and left Yahia for dead 40 yards from goal, travelled with the ball for another 10 yards before lashing a low drive that Lloris did well to keep out.

72mins: SUB. Murphy for King.

75mins: Good break from Stalteri down the right, pulled back for Barnard who in turn laid off for O'Hara to attempt curler from 25 yards that Lloris did well to claw out of the top corner.

82mins: Nice's best chance of the second half as Scotto's cross from the right landed at Camara's feet but the striker failed to hit the target from 10 yards.

83mins: Bellion's free-kick from 30 yards straight at Fulop.

85mins: SUB. McKenna for Barnard.

88mins: CLOSE. Camara met Bellion's cross with header from 10 yards that flew just wide.

89mins: SUB. Ifil for Stalteri.

89mins: Fulop not the best of punches to clear a Nice corner but did much better to palm out low to his right when Diakite hammered the ball back towards goal.

Full-time: Nice 0, Spurs 1

Line-ups: Nice (squad) Gregorini, Onyekashi, Fanni, Abardonado, Yahia, Echouafini, Balmont, Rool, Hnondrato Campos, Camara, Moussilou, Bellion, Diakite, Gace, Kante, Scotto, Toure, Traore, Lloris, Moreaua.

Spurs: Fulop, Stalteri, Ziegler, Huddlestone, King (Murphy, 72), Davenport, Routledge (Defoe, 46), Ghaly, Barnard (McKenna, 85), Tainio, O'Hara. Subs: Cerny, Defoe, Ifil, Lee, Barcham.