This is gonna be short and sweet because dear god it’s 1 a.m. here and I’m really tired. Tottenham Hotspur came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit against a Barcelona B reserve side, but fell in a ridiculous penalty shootout at the end of regulation. Tottenham got second half goals from Son Heung-Min and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou to bring them level after 90 minutes, but substitute Anthony Georgiou had his spot kicked saved in the shootout. Barca converted all five of their kicks, with the winner tucked away by one-time Spurs target and newest blaugranes signing Malcom.
Spurs were again missing Victor Wanyama, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, and Juan Foyth due to injury, and Erik Lamela was also held out after picking up a knock against Roma. Paulo Gazzaniga started in goal and Sonny slotted in for Lamela, otherwise it was the same lineup as against Roma.
Barcelona started out with a squad whose most recognizable players were Rafinha and Andre Gomes, and they dominated almost from the opening kick. Spurs’ makeshift back line of Serge Aurier, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Ben Davies, and Kyle Walker-Peters was carved open again and again by Barcelona’s young players, who were playing their first preseason match of the season.
Barca struck first in the 15th minute, thanks to some pretty shoddy defense from Tottenham Hotspur. A lofted ball to the right side was eventually lofted to a wide-open Munir at the back post, and he easily headed past Paulo Gazzaniga to put Barca up 1-0.
Just before the half hour mark, Barca struck again. This time it was Barca debutant Arthur — he received a ball at the top of the box, found himself unmarked, and rocketed a shot straight into the top corner of the net, and Barca led 2-0.
Spurs had a couple of half chances in the final 15 minutes, and their best opportunity came from a 25-yard free kick from Christian Eriksen, who stung the palms of Jasper Cillessen. Otherwise the biggest news of the first half was an injury to Moussa Sissoko, who went straight down the tunnel holding the back of his leg, and was replaced by Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.
The first half ended 2-0 to Barcelona.
Barcelona made eight substitutions at the break, while Spurs only made two, with Oliver Skipp and Davinson Sanchez coming in for Kyle Walker-Peters and Fernando Llorente.
The second half was a more sedate affair, at least initially — Barcelona went with mostly Barca B players, which allowed Spurs to get a foothold in the match.
Christian Eriksen had one of the better chances of the half for Spurs in the 52nd minute after he rattled the post on a 28-yard free kick. Serge Aurier wasn’t able to bustle in the rebound.
Eventually Anthony Georgiou and Michel Vorm were subbed on.
Spurs got their goal in the 74th minute thanks to some nice team play. N’Koudou sprung Ben Davies, who put a nice cross to Christian Eriksen at the back post. Eriksen’s shot was blocked, but the rebound fell to Son who fired home.
And just a minute later, Spurs equalized! Anthony Georgiou’s initial shot was blocked, and fell to the feet of Son Heung-Min right in front of goal Sonny had no idea where the ball was, but was able to backheel the ball in in the scrum. It fell to N’Koudou who poked it past Cillessen to level the score.
Both Spurs and Barca had chances to get the go ahead goal, but neither were able to get the winner, and because this is a preseason friendly tournament that makes no sense, they immediately went to penalties.
In the penalty shoot-out, Spurs got spot kick goals from Sonny, Ben Davies, and Davinson Sanchez, but Anthony Georgiou had his kick saved and Barca converted all five of their penalties, giving the La Liga club the win. Whatever.
- The home kits look slightly better with the white shorts, but they’re still trash.
- Look, it’s just a preseason match, but Spurs looked totally outclassed in the first half. They looked better in the second but only because Barca made eight subs at halftime.
- But don’t overthink this — this was a glorified scrimmage. Spurs were missing nine World Cup players AND about five injured players. This was a makeshift squad.
- Good: Luke Amos and Oliver Skipp both impressed today. I also saw some bright things out of N’Koudou, even though I don’t think there’s any chance he has a role in this Spurs side. Christian Eriksen had some good moments as well.
- Fernando Llorente was utterly invisible.
- Spurs’ defense was atrocious in the first half. Cameron Carter-Vickers made some heroic tackles but also was caught way out of position. I never want to see Ben Davies at center back again. Kyle Walker-Peters got roasted on the left side of defense and was subbed at the half. It got better once Davinson Sanchez came in.
- Penalty kicks during preseason friendly matches are the absolute worst.
- We lost. Womp-womp, whatever. Bring on Milan in Minneapolis.