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Roma edge hard-fought encounter in Haifa

Spurs 0-1 Roma

Sat 30 July 2022, 21:15|Tottenham Hotspur

Our final pre-season encounter of the summer was won by the only goal from Roma after a hard-fought clash for the I-Tech Cup in Haifa, Israel on Saturday evening.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, with defences on top, Roger Ibanez's header from Paulo Dybala's corner on 29 minutes proved the difference between the teams at the Sammy Ofer Stadium.

Antonio Conte will take positives from another workout where Yves Bissouma and Ivan Perisic made their first starts for the Club and Harry Kane completed the full 90 minutes. New recruits Fraser Forster, Clement Lenglet and Richarlison also featured in the second half. Ben Davies was also back on the bench after a recent injury.

That's it for pre-season though and the squad will now prepare for the big kick-off against Southampton in the Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next Saturday (6 August, 3pm UK).

In a chess-like first half, we enjoyed the lion's share of possession but found ourselves a goal down at the break. Dybala might have opened his account for Roma inside two minutes but for a brilliant block by Davinson Sanchez and follow-up save from Hugo Lloris. Eric Dier then picked out Matt Doherty from deep, he fed Dejan Kulusevski and only fine defending from Rick Karsdorp denied Heung-Min Son, who spectacularly volleyed just over from Perisic's nod down on 25 minutes.

Sanchez was there again this time to deny Tammy Abraham, but his efforts were undone by the ensuing corner. Dybala pinged in an outswinger and Ibanez powered home a header from six yards.

Perisic went close twice from distance as we continued to dominate the ball, and Kane had the ball in the net just before the break only for the goal to be ruled out for offside against Kulusevski.

The second half was more of a stop-start affair with chances at a premium. The first almost arrived on 65 minutes when Perisic's raid down the left was picked out by Son, but Chris Smalling was there to make the tackle. That defensive play was matched 10 minutes later when Abraham released Nicolo Zaniolo into the box, Cristian Romero spotted the danger and got across to challenge.

Appeals for a penalty were waved away after Ibanez and Kane went over in the box on 79 minutes. Five minutes later, Richarlison spun away from Smalling and darted into the box, where he was closed out by a combination of Smalling, Pellegrini and Celik - and after Kane put a late header from substitute Ryan Sessegnon's cross over the bar, that was about that.

Spurs 0-1 Roma

Spurs: Lloris (c) (Forster 67), Romero, Dier, Sanchez (Lenglet 46), Doherty (Royal 67), Bissouma (Bentancur 46), Hojbjerg, Perisic (Sessegnon 75), Kulusevski (Moura 67), Kane, Son (Richarlison 67). Substitutes (not used): Austin, Spence, Davies, White, Sarr.

Roma: Patricio, Karsdorp (Celik 78), Ibanez, Mancini, Smalling, Zalewski (Spinazzola 60), Cristante, Pellegrini (El Shaarawy 90+3), Dybala (Matic 60), Zaniolo (Bove 90+1), Abraham. Substititutes (not used): Svilar, Boer, Kumbulla, Afena-Gyan, Vina.

Match data

Goal: Roma - Ibanez 29.

Yellow cards: Spurs - Romero 83; Roma - Pellegrini 83.

Referee: Yigal Frid.

Venue: Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa.

Weather: Warm, 28 degrees at kick-off.