Spurs 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Report from Melbourne Cricket Ground
29 July 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
A combination of goalkeeper Jan Oblak and the woodwork thwarted us in our second International Champions Cup match against Atletico Madrid at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday (July 29).
We turned in a solid performance against last season's Champions League finalists with Josh Onomah and Erik Lamela hitting the frame of the goal, while Ryan Mason and Vincent Janssen were denied by two fine Oblak saves.
However, we were ultimately undone by a set piece situation five minutes before the break, with Diego Godin tapping in from close range after an innovative delivery from Gabi to give his side a 1-0 win.
Mauricio Pochettino made six changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Juventus at the same venue on Tuesday. Christian Eriksen came in to captain the side after missing the Juve defeat through illness and was joined in attacking midfield by Erik Lamela and Onomah - both very impressive in the second half against the Italians. Harry Winks and Anton Walkes undertook central midfield and central defensive duties while USA international DeAndre Yedlin lined up at left-back. Kevin Wimmer remained on the sidelines with a slight hamstring problem.
Woodwork: Onomah rattles the crossbar - 10mins
We enjoyed a bright start to proceedings and shortly after Eriksen's long-range shot was unconventionally blocked by Atletico goalkeeper Oblak, we went close on 10 minutes through Onomah. Eriksen whipped in a corner which bobbled around in the box with the young midfielder eventually hacking the ball fiercely towards goal from eight yards out - only to see it cannon back off the bar.
Woodwork: Lamela close to opener - 22mins
It was largely one-way traffic in the opening quarter of the game and we hit the woodwork for a second time midway through the first period as Lamela played a clever give-and-go with Vincent Janssen, stayed strong as he bustled his way into the area and struck the foot of Oblak's right-hand post after getting a low shot away under pressure.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 Atletico Madrid - Diego Godin - 40mins
After controlling much of the first period we fell behind following a set piece five minutes before the break. Atletico skipper Gabi clipped an innovative free-kick up and into the box, the ball skimmed off the back of Walkes' head and Godin was on hand to tap past Michel Vorm from six yards out.
Above: DeAndre Yedlin up against Sime Vrsaljko.
Close: Oblak denies Mason - 59mins
A well-worked move almost saw us grab an equaliser just before the hour mark. Janssen held the ball up and laid it back to half-time substitute Heung-Min Son, who played it sideways for the onrushing Mason. He did well to keep his first-time shot down but Oblak was equal to the midfielder's effort and beat it away.
Close: Oblak there again - 62mins
Three minutes after denying Mason in impressive fashion, Oblak produced another fine save. Mason was fouled just outside the box and Janssen whipped a powerful left-footed free-kick low around the wall, with Oblak scrambling down to his right to keep it out.
Close: Atletico almost double their lead through Diedhiou - 90mins
As the second half wore on, Atletico took more of a foothold in the game and Amath Diedhiou's shot was deflected wide, while Stefan Savic was also off target with a glancing header. But arguably their best opportunity of the half came on the 90-minute mark as Diedhiou unleashed a curling shot from left of centre that had substitute goalkeeper Luke McGee diving full-stretch to his left. Luckily for us, the ball whistled just past the far post.
Mauricio Pochettino said
“Oblak was Man of the Match – that was clear – and when the opponent’s goalkeeper is Man of the Match it’s because you’ve created chances and played well. We managed the game, had possession and played with a lot of personality.”
Harry Winks said
“I thought we played very well. I really enjoyed it and I want to prove that I can hold my own. Victor Wanyama is a great guy - he really helps me. It's like having a big brother alongside me in midfield.”
Spurs: Vorm (McGee 75); Trippier (Walker-Peters 60), Walkes, Carter-Vickers, Yedlin (Miller 60); Wanyama (Mason 46), Winks (Ball 75); Lamela (Son 46), Eriksen (c, Carroll 46), Onomah (Chadli 60); Janssen (Edwards 75). Substitutes (not used): Glover, Amos, Harrison.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Godín, Savic, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Partey (Diedhiou 75), Tiago (Henrique 58), Niguez; H Hernandez (Fernandez 58), Torres. Substitutes (not used): L Hernandez, Barragan, Santos Borre, Manquillo, T Hernandez, Velazquez, Mensah.
Goals: Atletico Madrid - Godin 40.
Referee: C. Beath.
Our final pre-season fixture comes up in seven days' time against Italian giants Inter Milan in Oslo, Norway. It will be our first meeting with the Serie A side since we edged past them in a UEFA Europa League last 16 tie in March, 2013. That tie ended 4-4 on aggregate, but we progressed on away goals.