AC Milan 0-2 Spurs
Report from Allianz Arena
05 August 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Next stop the Premier League! The curtain came down on our pre-season campaign in fine style with a convincing win over AC Milan in the Audi Cup in Munich on Wednesday.
The third/fourth play-off was won with two fine goals as well - first Nacer Chadli's curler into the top corner on eight minutes before Tom Carroll provided a finish worthy of Kieran Trippier's pass with 70 minutes on the clock.
Ryan Mason and Hugo Lloris completed 35-minute stints off the bench on their returns from injury so all in all, it was a positive end to this high-quality tournament at the Allianz Arena.
It was a different looking side to the one that was defeated by Real Madrid yesterday with Lloris named in the squad for the first time this summer since fracturing a bone in his wrist during his holiday.
Within five minutes we came close to breaking the deadlock in style when Chadli bent a free-kick fractionally wide from 25-yards.
With Harry Kane on the bench, Erik Lamela, Josh Onomah and Chadli drifted in and out of the centre forward role early on and it was young Onomah who was next to go close when he prodded a shot just wide following a deflection.
With eight minutes gone though we grabbed the lead as Chadli bagged the goal of pre-season. After collecting the ball outside the box, he jinked into a pocket of space and perfectly bent the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
We were in complete control and looked bright in attack, although the Italian side almost levelled with 15 minutes on the clock. Trippier was unfortunate when a long ball hit him on the back of the head and fell kindly for Alessandro Matri who tried a lob, but it dropped just over young goalkeeper Luke McGee’s crossbar.
McGee saved well from Matri midway through the half as Milan grew into the game with Alessio Cerci twice further testing the custodian.
It was an entertaining game and we should have made it 2-0 when Lamela played in Carroll who looked to have poked the ball past goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, but the stopper did brilliantly to tip it behind for a corner.
Lloris and Mason entered the action for their first outings in pre-season early in the second period alongside Harry Winks as the tempo slowed in a muggy Munich.
Winks' perfectly-weighted through ball found Lamela on the hour mark but his shot was deflected wide as he advanced one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Trippier became more of a threat as the game wore on too, sending in a series of dangerous deliveries from the right that caused problems for the Milan defence.
Mason had packed his shooting boots for Germany and twice went close as he looked to get forward as much as possible.
It was one-way traffic and Carroll put the game to bed with 20 minutes to go when he finished superbly with a bending shot on the angle after an excellent through ball from Trippier.
Milan threatened late on and Lloris was tested by Honda's stinger from 20 yards, but there was only one deserved winner.
Mauricio Pochettino said
“I’m very pleased with the way we played,” said Mauricio. “We played Real Madrid yesterday, AC Milan tonight and it was a fantastic experience for us.
“We scored fantastic goals and created a lot of chances. We enjoyed good possession as well. Against Real Madrid, we had nearly 60% possession, today it was the same or more. We played at a really good level.”
Helping us take control were the likes of Josh Onomah and Harry Winks - plus Luke McGee, making his first start in goal - three of the latest batch of Academy and Development Squad players to impress on first team duty.
“We have a young squad and a lot of talent,” said Mauricio. “This is how the club works and we have to recognise the work of all the staff, John McDermott (Academy Manager) and the coaches with him because this is our identity.
“We need to believe in these players, they need time, they need love, sometimes we need to be strong with them. We believe in this way.
“It is only one game but we believe 100% in our work. We need to improve more because it’s only the beginning of the season and now we have to compete against Premier League teams.
“I think we are ready and it’s now my problem to pick the starting 11.”
AC Milan: Abbiati (Donnarumma 45), Mauri (Ely 77), Mexes (Bonaventura 77), Suso (Honda 77), Cerci (Sousa 77), Poli (Nocerino 45), Montolivio (c) (de Jong 42), Abate (de Sciglio 70), Matri (Bacca 61), Alex (Paletta 45), Calabria (Antonellia 77). Substitute (not used): Lopez.
Spurs: McGee (Lloris 54), Trippier, Davies, Dier (Winks 54), Vertonghen (c) (Wimmer 45), Fazio, Chadli (Mason 54), Bentaleb (Alli 69), Lamela (Dembele 83), Carroll, Onomah. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Walker, Rose, Alderweireld, Eriksen, Kane.
Goals: Spurs - Chadli 8, Carroll 71.