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Tottenham Hotspur drop final pre-season match to Inter Milan, 1-1 (4-3)

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Preseason is officially over.

Tottenham Hotspur v FC Internazionale - 2019 International Champions Cup Photo by Michael Steele/International Champions Cup/International Champions Cup via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur fell to Inter Milan in the final pre-season match for the club on penalty kicks in front of 58,000 supporters on Sunday afternoon.

Spurs didn’t wait long to strike first. Breaking on the press with Lamela leading the way down the middle, he fed Lucas on the right wing. The Brazilian made a couple of touches before pushing to the right of the defense and firing a blast over the shoulder of Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to make it 1-0.

The two sides traded possession over the next ten minutes before Inter pushed forward for a decent chance of their own in the 13th minute as Brozovic came free in the box for a headed effort. Hugo Lloris was in perfect position for the attempt to save it and end the opportunity for the Italian side.

Inter had another chance to equalize in the 27th minute as Stefano Sensi blasted a shot from 20 yards out that had Lloris beat. Only the woodwork saved Spurs as the ball caromed off the far post and stayed out of the net.

While Spurs looked comfortable and had control of the match, Inter looked dangerous when they had the ball. Spurs switched off on defense in the 36th minute at the worst time as Inter played a gorgeous one-two pass to Sensi to put him on net. He coolly passed the ball into the net past Lloris to make the match 1-1.

Spurs had a penalty shout in the 41st minute that should have been called as he managed to get possession in the penalty area on the goal line. We didn’t get much of a replay but it looked like it should have been a penalty, but no call was given.

Spurs made two changes at the half, bringing on Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen to spell Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Sissoko. With the season starting Saturday, it’s no surprise that there weren’t wholesale changes to the side like in previous matches this month.

A great chance to go ahead came in the 60th minute as Spurs pressured Inter into a terrible turnover which left their defense out of position. Eriksen fed the ball to Lamela in the middle of the pitch to tee it up, but Lamela took a bit too long and his shot was blocked on the way to the net.

Three more changes were made in the 63rd minute as Paul Gazzaniga, Heung-Min Son, and Oliver Skipp entered the fray to give a rest to Hugo, Kane, and Winks.

The action was somewhat stagnant until the 75th minute as Inter had a couple of opportunities on a cross that glanced across the face of the net and a curling effort by George Puscas. Spurs countered in the 79th minute with a chance of their own and winning a corner. After that, Pochettino emptied the bench, including bringing on Troy Parrott for the remainder of the match.

Spurs spent almost the entire final ten minutes of the match in Inter’s half, making good passes and bright runs but ultimately not finding the winner. A penalty shout was denied in the 88th minute as a handball looked to occur against Inter. The two added minutes yielded no winner and we headed to penalties.

The shootout started with two saves as Eriksen’s poor attempt was easily saved, but Gazzaniga had to stretch out to deny Puscas. The next three rounds were even with all kicks made, but the fifth round was the deciding factor as Skipp’s penalty was saved and Joao Mario buried his shot to win the match on PKs, 4-3.

Thoughts on the Match

  • Overall, Spurs looked pretty good. They controlled the match in the first thirty minutes and, after giving up the goal, it was back and forth.
  • Erik Lamela is not going to be happy until he guts someone on the pitch, no matter the contest. I love him and his insane work rate so much.
  • Kyle Walker-Peters was doing well until he switched off on the Inter goal. He was fine after that, but mental lapses like that are what hurt the most.
  • The second half of this match was about as dull as dishwater until the last few minutes.
  • Andre Marriner’s lackadaisical approach to this match should be the story. There were several challenges that should have been carded but he just looked to be strolling through the park on a Sunday afternoon.
  • The pre-season is officially over. We are now in Matchweek 1 as Aston Villa come calling this weekend.