Match Report - Millwall v Tottenham Hotspur - 04 Aug 2001
New Den or old Den, Millwall has never been a place for the faint-hearted and so it proved again in our spiciest friendly of the summer so far.
The tempo was up a gear, the tackles made with more intent and, of course, the atmosphere off the pitch the most intense so far.
And there were plusses and minuses on both sides. From the point of view of Keith Stevens' Testimonial, it was a roaring success with a crowd of over 16,000 packed into the New Den.
From our point of view we played well for an hour, created chances, stood up to the physical side of things but more worrying, the home side's switch to a more aerial bombardment certainly caused problems.
"I felt we played some good stuff at times, opened them up, scored two good goals and then we had to defend some set-plays," said Glenn Hoddle afterwards. "There is still some work to be done defensively.
"When you come to Millwall, with the crowd like that, you expect it to be lively but it was a good game for us. There will be plenty of games where it will be become a bit spicy, but we kept our heads."
Sergei Rebrov took the brunt of a couple of heavy challenges in the first half and was taken off at half-time as a precaution.
He had already made his mark though with a splendid finish to open the scoring after 17 minutes. Simon Davies, full of energy in midfield, fed Oyvind Leonhardsen on the right, his cross looked too deep but Steffen Iversen nodded back and Rebrov clinically dispatched a half-volley from six yards.
All the football in the first half came from us but clear-cut chances were at a minimum with Iversen's snapshot just wide the pick.
Les Ferdinand replaced Rebrov at half-time and took just three minutes to make an impact. A delightful pass from Davies left him one-on-one with Harper and he made no mistake for his first goal in pre-season.
Iversen went close twice before the tide turned in Millwall's favour. The Lions clawed their way back after Sullivan, under intense and, perhaps, illegal pressure from Sadlier lost control of Savarese's cross and ex-Spur Nethercott tapped home from eight yards.
Savarese then headed wide from six yards, Sullivan superbly tipped Neill's drive aside and the home side somehow failed to level when first Cahill hit the bar and then Leonhardsen twice cleared off the line from Cahill and Nethercott.
Minute-by-minute guide to the action:
First half: 10mins: Davies break led to a three-on-one situation, pass slightly behind Rebrov who scooped attempted lob over.
17mins: GOAL. Another Davies break, fed Leonhardsen down right side, looping cross looked too deep but Iversen headed back into path of Rebrov, who volleyed home from seven yards. 1-0.
21mins: Rebrov threaded the ball through to Iversen who took it first time from 20 yards but fired wide.
27mins: Reid thumped a 30-yard free-kick just over.
Half-time: Millwall 0-1 Spurs
Second half: 48mins: GOAL. Davies delightful dinked pass with outside of foot released Ferdinand into the area and he made no mistake one-on-one with Harper, sliding the ball into the corner. 2-0.
59mins: Taricco played in Iversen, Harper commited himself but Iversen's lob was cleared off the line by Nethercott.
61mins: Iversen rifled over from 20 yards.
64mins: Savarese hung up a cross that Sullivan dropped under pressure from Sadlier and Nethercott tapped home from eight yards. 2-1.
68mins: Livermore pulled the trigger from 25 yards, just over.
72mins: Savarese headed Reid's corner wide from six yards.
77mins: Neill cut in from the left and unleashed a low shot superbly tipped aside by Sullivan.
78mins: Reid's corner headed onto bar by Cahill.
82mins: Ferdinand played one-two with Bunjevcevic, shot from 20 yards straight at Harper.
83mins: Livermore's corner, Cahill free header from 15 yards cleared off line by Leonhardsen.
85mins: Reid's deep corner found Nethercott, header cleared off line again by Leonhardsen.
Final score: Millwall 1-2 Spurs
Line-ups: Spurs: Sullivan, Perry, Taricco, King, Bunjevcevic, Clemence, Leonhardsen, Sherwood, Davies, Iversen, Rebrov (Ferdinand, 45).
Millwall: Warner, Neill, Ryan, Cahill, Nethercott, Dyche, Ifill, Livermore, Sadlier, Reid, Bull.