Spurs 2-0 Juventus - report from Wembley
Sat 05 August 2017, 19:30|Tottenham Hotspur
A goal in each half from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen saw us bring our pre-season campaign to a close with victory over Juventus at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening.
Both sides fielded strong teams, with Juventus naming eight of the side which started their Champions League Final defeat to Real Madrid just two months ago, but it was us who emerged victorious thanks to two very good goals.
Kane set us on our way, putting the finishing touch to a move which started with Jan Vertonghen in defence and ended with the striker heading Kieran Trippier’s cross past Italy and Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon in goal.
And seven minutes after the interval, Eriksen latched onto Dele Alli’s neat through ball to round Buffon and slot home into an empty net to double our advantage.
Both sides had a number of good chances, with Buffon and Hugo Lloris showing their class with some outstanding saves to keep the score down.
Not much happened for the opening 10 minutes until we broke the deadlock with a lovely goal, a move which started with Vertonghen tricking his way past Paulo Dybala’s high press in the left back slot. He found Ben Davies down the left channel who cut inside and laid off to Kane and then on to Moussa Sissoko and he, in turn, found Trippier breaking down the opposite flank. The full-back’s first-time cross was met by Kane, heading the ball down into the ground and past Buffon.
Dybala fired over the bar and then Gonzalo Higuain brought a smart save out of Lloris at his near post as the visitors responded to their early setback.
But we were almost presented with a second goal on 31 minutes. Stephan Lichtsteiner’s back-pass was mis-controlled by Buffon, Kane nipped in but couldn’t convert and from the clearance, Buffon parried Eriksen’s whipped cross straight to Kane but the England striker side-footed his effort straight back to the Juventus goalkeeper.
Above: Moussa Sissoko goes up for a header.
And we were denied again two minutes later when Dele released Sissoko just inside the Juventus half, he surged forward, cut inside Lichtsteiner and curled a right-foot shot which looked for all the world as if it was heading in, but hit the far post and bounced across the goal to safety.
We were forced into a change when Trippier was replaced by Kyle Walker-Peters just before the interval, during which Juventus made four changes of their own. But we began the second half unchanged and were 2-0 up after seven minutes of the restart. Vertonghen fizzed a pass into Dele 30 yards from goal and his perfect ball found Eriksen, who beat the off-side trap, rounded Buffon and stroked home. And, but for a stunning fingertip save from Buffon a minute later from Kane, it would have been 3-0!
At the other end, Dybala should have done better from Douglas Costa’s teasing delivery but could only poke wide 10 yards out, and the Juventus frontman was denied moments later by a superb diving save from Lloris to keep out his 20-yard curler.
A raft of changes from both sides followed over the course of the next 20 minutes, with Harry Winks, Anthony Georgiou and Vincent Janssen coming on for us and the substitutions affected the flow of the game as it became a little disjointed.
The visitors should have pulled one back on 80 minutes when Dybala robbed Eric Dier of possession in the right-back position and sent over a perfect cross for substitute Moise Kean, but he cracked his effort against the crossbar from 12 yards. And when Juan Cuadrado broke free down the right and let fly with an angled drive on 85 minutes, Lloris was there with another wonderful save to preserve our clean sheet.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It’s important to recover the good feeling from last season, get fit and try to arrive in the best condition at Newcastle. For me, what was most important was the performance, not the result. In pre-season you know the team is working the day before (a match) and that’s not a good reference, the most important reference is the feeling you can get and then how you play. I’m happy with the performance, many players improved a lot and reached another level, step by step. Now we have one clear week to work hard to arrive in perfect condition at Newcastle."
Harry Kane said
"A lot of their players played in the Champions League Final last season and we dominated from the start, pressed high, got that early goal and controlled the game from there. It was a great performance and one that will give us a lot of confidence going forward into the new season. It was a nice pitch for us, we could spread the play out, make space, we had runners in behind and our defence pushed up and made it difficult for them. It was a good performance."
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier (Walker-Peters 41), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele (Wimmer 90), Sissoko (Georgiou 65), Dele (Winks 65), Eriksen (Oakley-Boothe 90), Kane (Janssen 78). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Whiteman, Carter-Vickers, Dinzeyi, Miller.
Juventus (4-2-3-1): Buffon (c, Pinsoglio 76), Lichtsteiner (De Sciglio 46), Rugani (Barzagli 60), Chiellini (Benatia 60) Alex Sandro (Asamoah 46), Khedira (Bentancur 75), Pjanic (Marchisio 46), Douglas Costa (Bernardeschi 60), Dybala, Mandzukic (Cuadrado 46), Higuain (Kean 75). Substitutes (not used): Lemina, Rincon, Del Favero.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 10, Eriksen 52.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
With pre-season now over, it’s time for the real stuff to begin as the 2017-18 Premier League campaign starts next weekend.
We open up with a trip to Newcastle United on Sunday, a ground at which we lost 5-1 on the final day of the 2015-16 season.
Rafa Benitez’s side were relegated that year but bounced straight back up to the top flight last season and will provide tough opposition on matchday one.
Kick-off at St James’ Park is at 1.30pm.