Friendly Friday 28th August 2020  
Kick off 15.30 (delayed 30 minutes from 15.00 because of traffic)
Tottenham Hotspur  4 (3) Reading  1 (0)


Richards  (o.g.)  05m 54s
Dele  20m 23s
Son  38m 37s
Lamela  51m 15s


Puscas  (p)  79 m 43s





Crowd :   0,000 Weather :  Sunny, warm; rain before the match
Referee :  Craig Pawson (Sheffield) Assistant Referees :  Mr. -; Mr. -
Fourth Official :  -  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Reading : kit

  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)  (12  Joe HART  46 [22  Paulo GAZZANIGA  74])

30  Gedson FERNANDES  (24  Serge AURIER  46)
  Eric DIER  (38  Cameron CARTER-VICKERS  46)
33  Ben DAVIES  (19  Ryan SESSEGNON  46)

48  Harvey WHITE  (17  Moussa SISSOKO  46 [ 54  Alfie DEVINE  86])
  5  Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG   (44 Jamie BOWDEN  75)
23  Stephen BERGWIJN  82  (49  Dennis CIRKIN  62)
0  DELE Alli  (47  Jack CLARKE  62)

  7  Heung-Min SON    (53  Dale SCARLETT  81)
27  Lucas MOURA  (11  Erik LAMELA  46  )

Unused subs: 


    1  Rafael CABRAL  (14  Luke SOUTHWOOD  82)

  2  Andy YIADOM  (16  Jordan HOLSGROVE  66)
  Michael MORRISON  (12  Tom HOLMES  46)
  5  Tom McINTYRE

  3  Omar RICHARDS  (c)    (o.g.)  (
15  Imari SAMUELS  84)

  7  Josh LAURENT  (14  Felipe ARARUNA  81)
  6  Liam MOORE
  8  Andy RINOMHOTA  (  Marc McNULTY  86)
11  Michael OLISE  (17  Yakou MEITE  75)

10  Jon SWIFT  (18  George PUSCAS  58  )
  9  Lucas Eduardo Santos JOAO  (19  Sam BALDOCK  58)

Unused subs: 
20  Sone ALUKO

Manager :  Jose Mourinho Manager :   Mark Bowen
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Casumo
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Macron
Match report

The second match of Tottenham's pre-season programme gave them slightly tougher opposition than their first in the shape of Mark Bowen's Reading, but the only thing that held Spurs up was the half hour delay in the kick off after the visitors got stuck in traffic before arriving for a right Royal 4-1 beating.

Some fresh faces in the Spurs squad were going to get their first run-out - Bergwijn, Sissoko, Lamela and the surprise inclusion of Aurier - while Harvey White got his first start, with Winks and Foyth sitting this one out.  Reading fielded a pretty strong squad, but the game in class showed again and while they had more of a go than the previous opponents, they rarely threatened the Tottenham goal, even though they had more shots than Spurs.

Reading earned an early free-kick 20 yards out for a foul by Dier, which was played to the far post and headed back into the middle, where Hugo Lloris came and punched it clear, if unconvincingly. However, in the sixth minute, a long ball was played up to Son on the left by Davies. In behind Morrison, Sonny shimmied with the defender in front of him in the box and shot, but Morrison blocked the shot, with the ball going across the six-yard box and straight to Moura, who was beaten to it by Omar Richards, who knocked it into his own goal for the opening goal. It was fortunate the way it went towards Lucas, but the long ball from the back was soon in operation again, with Son just unable to collect Toby’s searching ball forward.  It looks as though this might be a tactic to exploit the speed of our forwards in the coming season.

Spurs were playing an open passing style and when Dele’s cross-field pass picked out Moura on the left, it looked like 2-0, but his shot was blocked for a corner. That had come about because Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had won the ball and White moved it quickly onto Dele on the right side of the pitch before switching play.

For their part, Reading were not sitting back and a corner had stretched Hugo at the far post as he reached to knock it away. Then a long pass down the left saw Gedson get there before Omar, but then try to step over the ball, allowing it to get away from him in the process. He ended up fouling the Reading captain and the free-kick fortunately came to nothing.

Moura’s pace took him away from the Reading defence in the 16th minute and he intelligently squared it for Son to shoot from inside the area. The keeper got down to it, but it went underneath his body and trickled towards the line. A defender cleared it, when it looked as though it may have gone over, but Son had another go and this time the block on his shot allowed another Reading man to clear it from inside the six yard area.

Dele played a header to Lucas Moura in the 21st minute and the return volleyed pass allowed Dele to go behind the defence and lob the oncoming keeper to double the lead. It was a very well created goal with good technical skill in the set-up and the finish.

Twenty-eight minutes in, Reading created a shot on goal when Swift played the ball in to Joao, but his placed shot went wide of Hugo’s goal. Lloris then had to flop to his left when Josh Laurent tried to put a shot wide of him, but it might actually have been going wide of the goal. Laurent then ran into the area and tried a shot, but it was going wide before it flicked off Alderweireld for a corner. When Dele played a loose pass in the defensive third, Harvey White had to make a well-timed challenge in the box to deny Yiadom running into the area to create a chance.

Dele got the ball when Hojbjerg tackled a Reading player on the ball, it was moved on to Moura, who found Bergwijn in space on the left. He checked, came inside and squared it to Son in the box standing around the penalty spot. There was one touch and then he picked out a shot that avoided the three defenders and goalkeeper in front of him to record Tottenham’s third goal in the 39th minute. The finish was precise and deadly, which saw Spurs repeat their first half three goals scored against Ipswich last Saturday.

A couple of minutes before half-time, Yiadom got past Gedson, who was in the left back position, to put in a cross that Joao headed over the bar from a central position and just ten yards out. It was a good opportunity that was wasted. At the other end, Dele nicked the ball off a defender and played it inside to Son, whose shot was blocked.

It was a first half full of energy and sharp passing that realised Mourinho’s strategy of getting a few goals ahead and then manage the play. The front four had caused the Reading defence lots of problems and while they were not afraid to move forward, every time Spurs got possession, they were a threat to the visitor’s defence.

With six half-time changes, some players were given their first run-out of the season and Lamela’s first act was to needlessly pull someone down 25 yards out, but Swift’s attempt at a shot on goal ended up high into the empty Paxton Road seats.

Spurs had a corner in the 49th minute, but Son’s ball in was cleared at the near post, but when the ball came in the next time, McIntyre cleared out Son on the edge of the D. Having given the ball away with the third touch Lamela had, his fourth buried the ball into the bottom corner of the net to Cabral’s left to make it 4-0 in the 52nd minute. It was a nice swinging free-kick that Son ducked under, but it was the curl that did for the keeper.

With a four goal lead, Tottenham looked hungry for more and Bergwijn was only denied by Holmes’ intervention as the Dutchman entered the penalty area almost straight from the kick off. The ball was being played expansively, so, when Carter-Vickers played a shot ball to Aurier and he picked out Hojbjerg running out of the back, a ball was swept wide by Lamela to Bergwijn on the left. Stevie tried to pull it back to Son on the near post, but he was crowded out.

Following a couple more substitutions after the hour by Spurs, Reading crafted an opening, but Puskas could only rush his shot wide of the goal as Toby slid in.

The game died a bit with all the subs coming on, with Moussa Sissoko furious at the award of a free-kick given against him and belting the ball thirty yards away to demonstrate his feelings. He then flipped the ball away when another free-kick went against Spurs and he would surely have been booked in a competitive match. McIntyre might have been lucky to avoid the same fate, because after his foul on Son, he left one on Jack Clarke, getting there late.

A free-kick on the Jordan Holsgrove on the Reading left was swung in and Gazzaniga, who had just come on, made a good save away to his left. Holmes was coming in on the far post, but could only bundle the ball against the post, with the ball falling in front of goal where Puscas had his effort blocked on the line by Cameron Carter-Vickers, using his hand according to referee Pawson. That gave Puscas the opportunity to score from the spot, which he did with great power to Gazzaniga’s right with ten minutes left.

There was little action after that with more substitutions and Reading's forward moves breaking down, with Spurs unable to threaten the goal any further. 

A useful work out, a good result, some very good goals and the major disappointment was the concession of a goal, but it was difficult for CCV to avoid the ball striking his hand and in a real match, it might have been five had goal-line technology been in action with the one that was kicked off the line.  White looked at home in midfield, Son and Dele sharp, with Bergwijn and Moura's pace a useful weapon.  At the back, the defence looked comfortable against a side not afraid to attack, but lacking a little in quality.   Moussa Sissoko limping off is a little worrying, but everyone else seemed to come through OK and the bandwagon moves on to tomorrow, when Birmingham City are the visitors.

With live TV games being announced, the Premier League start feels closer and with Birmingham and Watford left to play before the season starts, it looks as though Mourinho has an idea of how he wants the team to play, so it will be fascinating to see how that develops over the remaining friendlies, as other players are re-introduced to the side ... and some who might be coming into it as new signings !

Pete Stachio


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