Tottenham Hotspur are getting set to play their second and final match in their Asian tour, this time against Manchester United in Shanghai. But before the official International Champions League match, there’s another game they needed to play first.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Erik Lamela participated in an exhibition match on Tuesday, representing Tottenham against the AIA 100, a collection of (yes) 100 Chinese school children.
Before the match, the three Spurs players said they would pull no punches against the kids.
There’s a lot that’s amusing in this video, from the AIA roster that very quickly scrolls through all 100 names (including one named “Chen Pirlo,” watch out for him) to the announcers discussing Spurs’ expected “1-1-1 formation,” to the slow-motion replay of Dele nutmegging a child.
I won’t give away the whole thing — you kinda need to watch it — but Spurs absolutely benefitted from the lack of VAR in Chinese children’s exhibition matches after Dele was taken down in the box. Thankfully, he slotted home the penalty kick to earn a 1-1 draw. Lamela successfully curtailed his murderous match instincts and no children (or Tottenham players!) were harmed in the making of this video.
In post-match comments to the media, Dele talked about the stiff challenge the team faced from the 100 school aged Chennai children.
“They got bodies behind the ball, and they played out from the back well. They worked well in the counterattack and they made it very difficult for us to stick to our game plan which was get the ball in the air and hit the big man on top.
“[Harry] ended up playing center back which was a bit of a problem for us, though.”
Speaking about the most controversial play of the match, Dele did not mince words with regards to the foul that earned him the penalty.
“They called it a friendly game, but with tackles like that you have to be careful. I think [the kid] was lucky not to be sent off.
“I was actually a little scared of hitting it too hard! I had to get it in the air a little bit and figured the keeper(s) would struggle to get to the corners a little bit so I put a little height on it and it went in somehow.”
The full Tottenham XI will play Manchester United Thursday morning in Shanghai. Kick-off is at 7:30 a.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. BST.