Date : –  28th July 2021 Kick off : –  19.45
Competition : –  Friendly Venue : –  Stadium MK
Crowd : –  15,000
Referee : –  John Busby (-) Linesmen : – Mr. . ??; Mr. . ??
Fourth official : – 
Weather : –  Heavy rain, cloudy
MK Dons kicked off the first half


      Freeman  83m 35s   Son  34m 54s
      Dele  56m 39s
      Dele  80m 44s


1.   Franco RIVIZZOLI  ( 13.     Laurie WALKER  72) 41.   Alfie WHITEMAN
2.   Tennai WATSON  ( 16.   John FREEMAN 73  ) 2.   Matt DOHERTY  (  42.   Maksim PASKOTSI  64)
5.   Warren O’HORA  ( 21.    Brooklyn ILUNG  68) 25.   Japhet TANGANGA    (  43.   Malachi FAGAN-WALCOTT  86)
6.   Harry DARLING 38.   Cameron CARTER-VICKERS
4.   Aden BALDWIN ( 17.   Ethan ROBSON 67) 3.   Sergio REGUILON  (  33.   Ben DAVIES  64)
7.   Matt O’RILEY  ( 20.   Zak JULES 68) 57.   Nile JOHN
8.   David KASUMU (c)  ( 19.   James MORTON 73) 29.   Oliver SKIPP  (  44.   Tobi OMOLE  77) 
9.   Scott TWINE  ( 14.   Josh MARTIN  72)    
12.   Daniel HARVIE  (  3.   Dean LEWINGTON 68) 27.   Lucas MOURA    (  47.   Jack CLARKE  83)
20.   DELE Alli  (c)    (  48.   Harvey WHITE  83)
11.   Max WATTERS    ( 18.   Charlie BROWN  66) 23.   Steven BERGWIJN    (  39.   Troy PARROTT  83)
10.   Mo EISA   ( 15.   Jay BIRD  72)    
7.   Heung-Min SON    (  33.   Dane SCARLETT  77)
Substitutes Substitutes
1.   Hugo LLORIS (c)


Manager : –  Russell Martin Manager : –  Nuno Espirito Santo
Kit Supplier : –  Errea Kit Supplier : –  Nike
Shirt Sponsor : –  Suzuki Shirt Sponsor : –  AIA
Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  cinch
Colours : – All white
Colours : –  Black shirts with swirly multi-colour front panel and acid yellow insignia; Black shorts; Black socks



A late deflected goal ruined Tottenham’s night out by ensuring that they couldn’t keep a clean sheet, but other than that it was a useful outing that saw the team play very well.

Dele took the armband on a return to his old ground, while Doherty and Reguilon made their first starts of pre-season, with Lloris back on the bench, the team was looking a little more familiar.  Nuno included plenty of youth on the bench and there was a place in the starting XI for Oliver Skipp again, alongside Nile John who has impressed in the matches so far.

Just over 90 seconds into the game, Son and Dele linked to set up a chance for Steven Bergwijn on the left hand corner of the box and he tried to curl into into the opposite bottom corner, but the ball went a couple of feet wide.  Then, after a couple of crosses had tested the spurs defence and Alfie Whiteman, a long ball down the left found Scott Twine running into the box and the keeper rushed out and took him down conceding an undisputed penalty.  Matt O’Riley stepped up to take it and put it to the keeper’s left, but Whiteman had guessed right and got down to it very well to put a strong hand on it.  The ball spun off him and across the face of goal, but there was no white shirt there to put it away and Alfie had redeemed his mistake with a very good save.

Bergwijn was involved on the left as he stood up a cross to the far post that went over the struggling Baldwin and Son took the ball down behind him, but couldn’t keep his effort down as he look to hit the target from a tight angle.  Stevie then popped up on the right to take Son’s pass and strike a low shot across goal, but well wide.  Dele showed quick feet to elude two MK Dons players and played a reverse pass to his left to send Bergwijn away and he pulled the ball back low, Son stepped over it for Dele to shoot, but it was blocked on the edge of the box.  Bergwijn was being the main threat and he broke forward to free Sergio Reguilon in the area on the left.  With only the keeper to beat, he tried to slip it past him, but hit Ravizzoli.  The ball spun up and was headed away from under the bar by Baldwin, but the pressure was relentless.  It was Bergwijn with the next effort, shooting on target from a narrow angle on the right to force the keeper top beat it away for a corner at chest height.

A corner from the right was won by Cameron Carter-Vickers in the air, but he made contact with it with his shoulder and the ball went wide.  Sonny got the ball in the net halfway through the first half when Dele slipped him a pass in the left edge of the box and he finished with a curling shot past the keeper, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.  In the 35th minute, Son made a run past the back-line of the home side to receive Lucas’ perceptive pass and moving into the right hand side of the box, the keeper came to meet him going low to the ground.  Our striker was aware of what the keeper intended, gently lifting the ball a couple of feet off the ground to trundle into the unguarded net.  While there may have been a suspicion of offside, this time the flag stayed down and Spurs had the lead.

It could easily have been two a couple of minutes later when the press worked and Lucas nicked the ball forward to Bergwijn.  He was off with Moura keeping up with him as he took Steven’s pass on his left and shot, but the pass hadn’t favoured him and Bergwijn and Son were waiting in the middle.  Five minutes before half-time, a free-kick was given against Nile John and from fully 25 yards out, Twine struck the ball dipping towards the inside of Whiteman’s right hand post until our keeper dived full length to tip the shot around the post. 

The second half started with Lucas Moura dictating play.  He won the ball by cutting out a pass with it going to Nile John, whose first time pass put Son through on goal in a similar position to his goal.  He tried to dink it past the keeper again, but hit the goalie again.  Then, when Moura picked up the ball inside his own half, he used his pace and his trickery to push the ball past two white shirted players before playing in Son in a more central position than his goals on the right.  Aware of where Dele was, he played a square pass that left the Spurs midfielder the simple pass of playing the ball in a straight line in front of him to score against his old club with 54 minutes gone. 

Spurs were running wild at this stage and when Oliver Skipp won the ball off a MK Dons player halfway inside their half, it ran for Bergwijn to run in on the keeper and he tried to chip the keeper, who batted it away for a corner.  From it, Cameron Carter Vickers won a header, the keeper saved, but it went to his right, where Dele scrambled the ball untidily over the line … only to look up to see an offside flag being raised.  MK Dons did push forward and won another 25 yard free kick that Twine took again and Whiteman saved again … holding the ball as he dived to grab the ball away to his left.

It was substitution time, with the home team making more than Tottenham, who swapped both full backs.  A corner for the home side was won by Carter-Vickers, with Whiteman coming out to try and punch behind him and as Lucas tried to clear the loose ball it fell for substitute Jules, who turned and smashed a shot into the side-netting from the left.  It was a miss that failed to punish Spurs and Luca Moura made no such mistake when Darling played the ball straight to him, ten yards outside the box and he ran it into the area before sliding the ball across the substitute keeper and in for 3-0.  It could have been that score-line before Lucas’ goal, as Dele caught Darling dawdling on the ball on the edge of his own box to take it around the replacement keeper Walker, stop and then try to take another man on before shooting.  By then a defender had got back to clear the ball as it was heading towards goal.

After more subs, MK Dons did give their fans something to cheer about when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box and substitute John Freeman shot a lofted effort that might have come off Harvey White as he challenged him. and it skewed into the top left corner of Whiteman’s goal, leaving the goalie with no chance.  There was still five minutes to go, but the game fizzled out with Spurs still attacking through Parrott and Scarlett, but there were no more direct chances before the end.

The notable thing about the match was the energy that the players were putting into the press which paid off.  The wide play of Lucas and Bergwijn was something that the MK Dons couldn’t cope with and there were chances created by those two and Dele and with the movement from Son ahead of them, there was plenty of scope to find space and with the good passing, the chances flowed.  Whiteman did well, but needs to be more judicious when he comes for crosses, while Carter-Vickers won most things in the air and a lot on the ground, looking strong and solid.

Another win over lesser opposition and now the friendlies take a step up with Premier League opposition upcoming.  As the team feeds in the senior international players and new arrivals, hopefully this will improve things even further and with a solidity in defence and two attacking full backs, it looks as though the style that Pochettino introduced may be in for a return.

Marco van Hip