Tottenham Hotspur vs. Espanyol: Final score 1-1, debuts galore!

Michael Regan

Pay no attention to the result. Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Sandro and Younes Kaboul all played.

Tottenham Hotspur closed out their preseason campaign with a draw on Saturday, matching Espanyol in a 1-1 stalemate. Spurs had the better of the play for most of the match, but fell apart on one set piece and failed to take most of their chances. The Catalan side also defended very well in the final third.

Paulinho appeared to have a debut goal less than five minutes into the game when he nodded in a free kick by Gylfi Sigurdsson, but the linesman flagged for offside. Spurs stayed in control and in the 29th minute, they finally got on the board with a penalty. Danny Rose drew the foul from Javi Lopez, who hacked him down on the edge of the area, and Roberto Soldado converted.

Tottenham couldn't carry the lead into halftime, with a set piece being their undoing once again. Sigurdsson and Soldado appeared to be a bit confused about their marking assignments and David Lopez took advantage, nodding past Hugo Lloris to equalize.

Spurs made one change at halftime, and it was extremely well received by the crowd at White Hart Lane. Younes Kaboul came on for his first preseason action of the year, replacing Zeki Fryers. Another Spurs favorite recovering from injury came on for the first time this preseason in the 61st minute, with Sandro replacing his countryman Paulinho.

In the 75th minute, Danny Rose was on the bad end of a 50-50 challenge that saw him go to the ground and require medical attention. He had a cut on his face worked on and was replaced by Kyle Naughton. Hopefully he hasn't picked up any kind of injury beyond that flesh wound.

Notes:

- Overall our play was sloppy, but I liked the ideas. We tried to play quickly and creatively. Soldado helped a lot in this regard.

- OMG we won a penalty, what are penalties?

- Sandro and Younes Kaboul made their debuts! How awesome is that! I don't expect either to start against Palace, but it's nice that they're getting close.

- Nacer Chadli had some impressive bits of skill in the first half, but his touch and decision making were not great.

- Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon have awesome chemistry.

- Paulinho and Dembele really don't. Hopefully they sort that out shortly. They had flashes of brilliance individually, but didn't look like they knew how to play together.

- Before he went off, Danny Rose had a very up and down game. He actually anticipates very well defensively, though he got clowned on a couple of occasions. Going forward, he seems to think slow and look to the wide areas first. He needs a year of playing for MON coached out of him.

- We will always stink at defending set pieces. We would stink if we signed Vincent Kompany and hired Tony Pulis. I have accepted this.

- Zeki Fryers had his best game that I've seen him have, either in a senior friendly or an Under-21 game.

- Andros Townsend was very lively and dangerous in his short cameo.

- This might have been Big Tom's last game in a Spurs shirt. Him leaving is probably best for him and the club, but I has a sad. <3 u, Big Tom.

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