|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)||OGC NICE 1 (0)|
|Date : – Wednesday 21st December 2022||Kick off : – 19.00|
|Competition : – Friendly||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 9,173|
|Referee : – Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)||Linesmen : – Mr. . ??; Mr. . ??|
|Fourth official : –|
|Weather : – Chilly, some light rain|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end|
|Playing time : – 90 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||OGC NICE|
|Doherty 20m 17s||Mendy 46m 11s|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||OGC NICE|
|20.||Fraser FORSTER||1.||Kaspar SCHMEICHEL|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||33.||Antoine MENDY ( 21. Alexis BEKA BEKA 57)|
|34.||Clement LENGLET ( 33. Ben DAVIES 66)||25.||Jean-Clair TODIBO|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ (c) ( 15. Eric DIER 66)||4.||DANTE (c)|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA||15.||Joe BRYAN ( 26. Melvin BARD 46)|
|12.||Emerson ROYAL ( 77. Romaine MUNDLE 75)|
|38.||Yves BISSOUMA||8.||Pablo ROSARIO|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG ( 29. Pape Matar SARR 46)||19.||Khephren THURAM|
|11.||Ross BARKLEY ( 18. Rares ILIE 80)|
|21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 45. Alfie DEVINE 80)|
|42.||Harvey WHITE ( 7. Heung-Min SON 74)||29.||Nicolas PEPE|
|11.||BRYAN Gil ( 62. Will LANKSHEAR 90)||24.||Gaetan LABORDE ( 14. Bilal BRAHIMI 71)|
|40.||Brandon AUSTIN||77.||Teddy BOULHENDI|
|41.||Alfie WHITEMAN||37.||Reda BELAHYANE|
|19.||Ryan SESSEGNON||35.||Badredine BOUANANI|
|43.||Nile JOHN||97.||Lucas da CUNHA|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Lucien Favre|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Macron|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – INEOS
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shorts Sponsor : – VBet
|Colours : –
Worn with white socks
|Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|The last friendly before the resumption of the English football season for Premier League clubs after the World Cup saw Spurs draw 1-1 with French side OGC Nice in front of a limited capacity crowd.
There was a mix of returning World Cup Spurs players and fringe squad members, with plenty of youngsters on the bench. Adopting a 5-2-3 formation, Tottenham were no doubt looking to push wing backs Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty forward at every opportunity and with Kulusevski and Bryan playing the wider positions, Harvey White resumed his “harry Kane” deep lying centre forward role.
Spurs were knocking on the door as early as the fourth minute when Bissouma’s left wing corner was met with a pitiful punch by Schmeichel, with the ball skiing off his gloves before a defender behind him cleared. It only went to Bryan Gil on the edge of the box, but he couldn’t keep his volley down and it sailed into the North Stand, where some of the fans in the limited capacity crowd were sitting. Soon after Nice had their first effort, with the ball worked left to Ross Barkley, who shot at goal, but Fraser Forster pushed it wide, even though it would have been off target anyway.
Spurs were stroking the ball around nicely and a pass into Harvey White’s feet bought a foul when he was pushed over from behind. Five yards outside the box, Dejan Kulusevski too it and fired it low through the wall, but the Nice keeper was behind it. Doherty had already broken into the box to beat Todibo before being thwarted by Dante before he did the same in the 21st minute. Spurs had passed the ball from right to left and Kulusevski was in a central position just outside the area when he passed the ball inside Mendy. The defender got a touch on it, but only moved it behind him and into Doherty’s run, hitting the ball with his right foot past Schmeichel finding the net at the keeper’s near post. It was a fine piece of finishing and meant Doherty had scored in each of the three friendlies set up in and after the World Cup hiatus.
Pepe was causing problems with his direct running, winning one free-kick that Barkley hit into the wall from the right side and then on the left, then doing the same from the left, but managing a second shot from the rebound, but he put it into the side-netting. When Tottenham moved the ball forward, it was Emerson Royal who popped up in the inside right position to pass left to Bryan Gil. He jinked inside and let go a low shot that was deflected wide for a corner. It was the Spaniard who came close to adding a second, getting onto the end of passing movement that started with White finding Doherty and his through ball put Bryan into the box, but his left footed effort didn’t carry enough power to beat the keeper. Then, six minutes before the break, Bissouma picked up a clearance just outside the box and looked to find the target, but it was blocked for a corner.
At the start of the second half, Pepe got in past Doherty and forced Forster to a save, low at his near post. From the corner, Dante’s header bounced off Doherty to give Mendy the opportunity to shoot into the net from five yards out and make it 1-1. It was a fortunate position for the right back to find himself in and Forster had gone the other way to anticipate where Dante’s header was going, so had no chance when it was placed the other way.
Spurs almost went ahead again a couple of minutes later, when a good move on the left between Doherty and Bryan laid the ball inside for Dejan Kulusevski to strike a shot long the ground from the edge of the area. Schmeichel got down to it, but almost let it slide under his outstretched right hand, but managed to recover his ground to grab the ball at the second attempt as it went wide. It was almost end to end, with Pepe crossing into the heart of the goalmouth for Barkley, who tried to control the ball rather than try to shoot and the ball dropped behind him for Royal to bring it away.
Another good move created space on the left for Kulusevski to caress a ball into the penalty area, where Royal had continued his run and flicked the ball off his head, but the keeper saved low in the middle of the goal. It was after a long period of play that Spurs created the next chance in the 71st minute. Harvey White played a cushioned volleyed pass into the box for royal to shoot low, but Schmeichel stopped it with his foot. It came back to White, who tried to put it wide to the keeper’s right, but put it wide of the goal on that side.
Heung-Min Son came on and was almost played in straight away, with Bryan’s pass behind the last man, but with his face mask on, our number 7 never looked like going in full-bloodied for the ball, allowing the keeper to clear. Rosario did well inside the left side of the Tottenham penalty area, puling a pass back for substitute Brahimi to strike a shot from the edge of the box, but he got under it and skied it into the Paxton end.
With plenty of substitutes used, the match lost its flow a little and it fizzled out on a chilly night into the draw that probably assuaged both team’s honour, but there were a few good performances from the Spurs boys. Bissouma did well as did Pape Matar Sarr when he came on at half-time, with Japhet Tanganga, Matt Doherty and Harvey White all looking good. Lenglet did well, Bryan looked to run at players whenever he got the ball and although Kulusevski was kept quiet by two defenders whenever he received the ball, he still managed to be a threat to the Nice defence.
So, now, it’s all down to the real business that starts again on Monday at Brentford. The need for a quick start is needed with a lot of games coming up on top of each other, so the return of the remaining players who were involved in the World Cup may be crucial to the resumption and the rest of the season.
Sid E. Netting