Celtic 1-6 Spurs
Report from Helsinki
02 August 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
The penultimate game of the pre-season programme resulted in a 6-1 victory over a youthful Celtic side at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki.
First half goals from Harry Kane, Roberto Soldado and Lewis Holtby, topped up by second half strikes from Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty, settled a one-sided contest in which the team dominated from start to finish.
The gate was nearly unlocked in the fourth minute via a neat combination by Ben Davies and Holtby, but we did not have to wait much longer for the scoring to be opened.
On five minutes a Townsend surge down the left resulted in a cut back in the direction of Kane, who took aim and fired past Craig Gordon into the top corner.
On 12 minutes the lead was doubled after Holtby found a way through the middle and unselfishly played in Soldado, whose initial attempt was blocked by Gordon, but he made no mistake with the rebound, thumping into the roof of the net.
The Spaniard had a further chance moments later with a glancing header from a superb Townsend cross, but did not trouble Gordon on this occasion.
Michael Dawson was forced off with an injury on 19 minutes and was replaced by Zeki Fryers.
The team continued to assert their authority over the Scottish champions as the half progressed, with Ryan Mason impressive in conducting the tempo from midfield and Holtby very lively off the front. Townsend was providing the devilish thrusts that the men in green struggled to contain.
Brad Friedel was routinely worked for the first time on 36 minutes when he gathered a low effort from home town player Teemu Pukki.
Kane could have scored at the other end after good work from Soldado, but his effort deflected up off a defender and Gordon was able to field.
Celtic did pull a goal back just before the break, with Friedel initially saving with his feet to deny Dylan McGeough but, from the resulting cross Jamie Lindsey was able to connect and, despite Friedel appearing to make a save, the assistant adjudged the ball to have crossed the line.
The two-goal advantage was restored in 45th minute when Capoue set Holtby scurrying into the area, with the German composed enough to calmly slot past Gordon to make it 3-1.
Mauricio Pochettino made six changes at the break, introducing Danny Rose, Nabil Bentaleb, Aaron Lennon, Lamela, Eriksen and Adebayor.
It was Lamela who was next to make an entry on the scoresheet on 61 minutes, picking up the ball 30 yards out and striding forward before unleashing a shot that took a deflection on its way to defeating Gordon in the Celtic goal.
It was all about containment and damage limitation for Celtic in the second half, sitting deep and attempting to stem the flow of attacks - literally one-way traffic.
Capoue made way for Sandro in the 70th minute, with Ryan Fredericks taking over from Kyle Naughton. Milos Veljkovic replaced Fryers with 13 minutes left on the clock.
Eriksen made it five on 82 minutes when he whipped a free-kick into the top corner after Adebayor was felled just outside area.
And the scoring was completed a minute from time when Adebayor scored from the spot, his strike going in off the keeper's left-hand post after Rose was bundled over in the area.
To compound Celtic's misery, Efe Ambrose received a second yellow card in the first minute of stoppage time and consequently got his marching orders.
Spurs (first half): Friedel, Naughton, Davies, Dawson (Fryers 19), Kaboul, Capoue, Mason, Holtby, Townsend, Kane, Soldado.
Spurs (second half): Friedel, Naughton (Fredericks 70), Kaboul, Fryers (Veljkovic 77), Rose, Capoue (Sandro 70), Bentaleb, Lennon, Lamela, Eriksen, Adebayor.
Celtic: Gordon, Herron, O'Connell, Ambrose, Twardzik, Lindsay, Irvine, Henderson, McGeouch, Pukki, McMullan. Subs: Fasan, Waters, McManus, McIlduff, Tierney, Balde, Fridjonsson.