Match Report - Tottenham Hotspur v Sporting Lisbon - 10 Aug 2003
Plenty of positives in our final pre-season friendly against a Sporting Lisbon side that toppled Manchester United last week.
In a technically impressive encounter, we created the better chances and the tempo of our display in the first half was far removed from last week's disappointments against PSV. Good news with the Premiership six days away.
Individually, South African skipper Mbulelo Mabizela completed an impressive 70 minutes on his Lane debut, Rohan Ricketts was lively again in midfield and Anthony Gardner looked at his cool, calm and collected best.
It certainly looked like we'd moved on from last week's performance against PSV in a bright first half.
Steve Carr's early break and cross from the right set the tone and the moment of the half followed a minute later as Robbie Keane skipped away from two defenders, whipped in a cross met by Mauricio Taricco at full pace only for Ricardo to fling himself to his left to save.
Jamie Redknapp and Goran Bunjevcevic had efforts before Carr stole in behind Rui Jorge but couldn't keep Taricco's teasing cross on target.
Carr and Keane's combination down the right was a highlight and they created an opening for Simon Davies to fire high and wide after 22 minutes.
Sporting, always tidy, didn't seriously threaten although Gardner needed to be at his best to flick a dangerous cross away from Pinto and Clayton's 20-yarder forced Kasey Keller into action after 39 minutes.
The second half started relatively slowly in comparison to the first until the arrival of Gus Poyet and Bobby Zamora on the hour lifted things.
Keane soon dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box before combining again with Carr - this time Carr's cross, heading for Zamora, was taken away from the forward by Severo.
Mabizela's afternoon's work ended after 71 minutes and his replacement Gary Doherty, his first senior appearance of pre-season, had to be at his defensive best to deny Silva and Lourenco as the visitors pushed on further.
Indeed, the Portuguese went closest to breaking the deadlock with the final kick of the game as the outstanding Beto Severo clipped a free-kick over the wall that hit the underside of the bar and bounced to safety - defeat would have been harsh.
MINUTE BY MINUTE
1min: Positive start, Carr early cross from right inches over Postiga's head.
2mins: Magic from Keane down right, danced away from two defenders, cross met powerfully by Taricco on the run but Ricardo flung himself to his left to save.
11mins: Decent low drive from Redknapp saved comfortably by Ricardo.
13mins: Bunjevcevic free-kick from right angle of area straight at Ricardo.
14mins: Carr stole in at far post to meet Taricco's cross but couldn't keep volley on target.
22mins: Keane and Carr combination down right, Carr laid ball back to Davies who fired high and wide.
25mins: Great defensive header from Gardner to divert Clayton's free-kick away from Joao Pinto.
28mins: Postiga interplay with Keane, broke into box, went down under Jorge's tackle, appeals for penalty waved away.
31mins: Postiga flicked Bunjevcevic's curling free-kick just wide.
33mins: Best move so far, Bunjevcevic released Ricketts, his whipped cross taken away from potential targets Keane and Carr by Hugo's flicked header.
39mins: Possession from Sporting ended with Clayton 20-yarder saved by Keller.
40mins: Ricketts took early shot from 22 yards saved low to his right by Ricardo.
Half-time: Spurs 0-0 Sporting Lisbon
48mins: Jorge's corner somehow missed by three attackers.
60mins: SUBS. Poyet and Zamora for Postiga and Ricketts.
64mins: Quick feet from set up Keane who dragged his shot wide from 22 yards.
66mins: Another one-two between Carr and Keane, Carr's low cross heading for Zamora but Severo there to clear.
71mins: SUB. Doherty for Mabizela.
73mins: Doherty straight into action with vital block on Silva.
77mins: Poyet cut in from right, low shot fielded easily by Ricardo.
79mins: SUB. Marney for Davies.
81mins: Excellent defending from Doherty to foil Lourenco from Pinto's cutback.
89mins: Lourenco snapshot saved by Keller.
90mins: WOODWORK. Severo's free-kick hit the underside of the bar and bounced to safety.
Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Carr, Taricco, Mabizela (Doherty, 74) Bunjevcevic, Ricketts (Poyet, 60), Gardner, Davies (Marney, 79), Redknapp, Keane, Postiga (Zamora, 60).
Sporting Lisbon: Ricardo, Hugo (Polga, 45), Miguel Garcia, Luis Filipe (Lourenco, 81), Silva, Beto Severo, Rui Jorge (Tonito, 63), Joao Pinto, Fabio Rochemback (Quiroga. 45), Custodio, Clayton (Tello, 45).