Legends thrill fans at new stadium
Spurs Legends 4-5 Inter Forever
Sat 30 March 2019, 20:12|Tottenham Hotspur
A glittering array of former Spurs greats were beaten by their Internazionale counterparts on Saturday evening, but the scoreline was immaterial on what was a glorious occasion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Staged as the second Test Event ahead of our official stadium opening against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday night, this legends game was a nod to the many, many great players who plied their trade at our former ground White Hart Lane, as we embark on a new exciting era at the club.
And over 40,000 fans enjoyed the occasion, welcoming back a squad of players to N17 including the likes of captain for the day Robbie Keane, Jurgen Klinsmann, Dimitar Berbatov, David Ginola, Rafa van der Vaart and Paul Gascoigne, whose received a rousing reception during his brief second-half cameo.
It was a topsy-turvey game of football – 3-3 at half-time as we exchanged goals with Inter at regular intervals, Keane in particular scoring a wonderful goal crowned by his famous cartwheel celebration! The visitors went ahead for the first time through Nicola Ventola before Berba levelled with a superb header, but Inter snatched the win right at the end through Houssine Kharja.
But it was still an occasion to saviour and celebrate, another important step on the way towards Wednesday’s eagerly-awaited official opening.
Spurs Legends 1-0 Inter Forever – 7 minutes
An early opening goal as Darren Anderton clipped a ball into the box, Keane missed the header but it fell to Tainio, who stuck out a leg to divert the ball past Julio Cesar and get the fun and games rolling!
Spurs Legends 1-1 Inter Forever – 12 minutes
Javier Zanetti and Juan Sebastien Veron linked up down the right, Veron’s clever backheel found David Suazo right in front of goal and he slotted past Erik Thorstvedt.
Spurs Legends 2-1 Inter Forever – 16 minutes
Tainio’s wonderful ball over the top found Keane, who beat the offside trap and let the ball come to him, back to goal, before sending a sumptuous lob over his head and that of Julio Cesar, the ball bouncing into an empty net amid great delight from the stands. And then the celebration, as he ran off towards the corner with a cartwheel, a forward roll and a roar towards the crowd!
Spurs Legends 2-2 Inter Forever – 29 minutes
Another break down Inter’s right saw Benito Carbone deliver a perfect cross over the top of Sebastien Bassong which was headed in by Suazo.
Spurs Legends 3-2 Inter Forever – 31 minutes
We were swiftly back in front when Jurgen Klinsmann and Rafa van der Vaart combined to set up Keane – how good does that sound by the way! – and although Laurent Blanc cleared the initial effort, Keane’s acrobatic scissor kick sent the ball across the face of goal where Nielsen was on hand to poke home.
Spurs Legends 3-3 Inter Forever – 37 minutes
It was all square again eight minutes before the break. Carbone’s free-kick from 25 yards went up and over the wall, it was a comfortable save for Thorstvedt but he spilled the ball and Veron snaffled up the rebound from close range.
Spurs Legends 3-4 Inter Forever – 61 minutes
A raft of changes were made at half-time before one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon for the arrival of Paul Gascoigne, who replaced van der Vaart to a rousing reception. A few minutes later though, Inter were ahead for the first time in the game when Ventola converted Giorgos Karagounis’ cut-back past Neil Sullivan.
Spurs Legends 4-4 Inter Forever – 67 minutes
What a cross and what a header! Stephen Carr and Dimitar Berbatov never played together at Spurs but you wouldn’t have known from this move as the right-back sent over a magnificent deep cross which Berbatov headed back across goal and past Luca Castellazzi to bring us level again.
Spurs Legends 4-5 Inter Forever – 89 minutes
The visitors grabbed a late winner when Zanetti’s shot was well saved by Sullivan but the rebound fell back to Zanetti who then set up Kharja to slot home.
Spurs Legends 4-5 Inter Forever
Spurs Legends: Thorstvedt (Sullivan 46), Carr, Bassong, Chimbonda (Perry 46), Tainio (Stalteri 46), Howells, Anderton (Ginola 59, (Keane 83)), Nielsen (Freund 36, (Hazard 60)), van der Vaart (Gascoigne 55 (Tainio 70)), Keane (c) (Berbatov 41), Klinsmann (Nayim 46, (Falco 74)).
Inter Forever: Julio Cesar (Castellazzi 46), Zanetti (c), Galante, Blanc, Ferrari (Bianchi 38), Silvestre, Veron (Kharja 69), Karagounis (Klinsmann 69), Carbone (Julio Cesar 83), Berti (Dabo 8), Suazo (Ventola 46 (Suazo 69 (Karagounis 86)).
Goals: Spurs – Tainio 7, Keane 16, Nielsen 31, Berbatov 67; Inter – Suazo 12, 29, Veron 37, Ventola 61, Kharja 89.
Referee: Peter Bankes.