Ange Postecoglou has admitted that he was thrilled with Tottenham’s first-half performance against Barcelona but admitted that the players ran out of steam in the latter stages of the game.

As expected, Postecoglou made ten changes to the team that started against Shakhtar Donetsk on Sunday, with Guglielmo Vicario being the only one who kept his place in the side.

Yves Bissouma

(Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite being without a lot of their key players, Spurs dominated proceedings until the final half-hour of the game, dictating the tempo and playing through Barcelona’s press consistently.

However, the game changed after Xavi Hernandez introduced a lot of fresh legs late in the day, with the home side turning around a 2-1 deficit to emerge 4-2 winners.

Postecoglou liked what he saw from Tottenham

Postecoglou insisted it was to be expected that the players would tire towards the end of the game, given that this was the first full match that many of them had played at such an intensity.

When asked what he thought about his side’s performance, the Australian told Football.London: “It was good. First-half was excellent. They got the goal but our response to that was excellent.

“The whole first half we played some really good football, pressed them and you could see they were uncomfortable.

“I thought the lads were outstanding. We just ran out of legs in the second half. We had a lot of guys out there who this was their first 90 minutes at this intensity.

“It was my decision not to make too many substitutions today and to leave guys at home because I feel with pre-season the way it has been we are a couple of games short. It cost us in the end but in terms of the effort the players gave maximum and that is all you can ask for.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It was evident that our players were running on empty in the final 30 minutes of the game, which suggests that their fitness levels are perhaps not where it needs to be at this stage.

That is not surprising given that we have not had as many tough tests in pre-season as Postecoglou and his coaching staff would have hoped for.

It might thus take a few weeks for the players to get into the kind of condition required to maintain the same intensity for the 90 minutes.

However, it was extremely pleasing to see the ease with which we played through Barcelona’s press, even though we had many of our top players missing.

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