Spurs 3 Juventus 2 and what a trip

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Travelling to Singapore is always a pleasure, and it is always a pleasure to see Spurs in preseason games. Of course, the question is often asked; do the teams take these matches seriously? Well, I can’t speak for the others, but I know Pochettino does.

Before and afterwards it is nice to get to meet the locals and look around the towns/ cities of the games we play in. It is one of the pleasures going to away games throughout Europe (and back home) to see exotic and far-flung locations.

Let us get straight to the point, Harry Kane’s lob from the halfway line and over the former Arsenal stopper, if we can call him an Arsenal stopper, Wojciech Szczesny, was exceptional. He who was left perplexed as he watched the ball fly over his head and into the net (and we all remember another Spurs player, but not playing for our club at the time, who put one over Seaman’s head… say no more!).

Kane’s goal capped off an excellent start to our friendlies tour, and in front of 50,000 eager fans in the National stadium. After an injury end of season worry for Kane, he has shown he is back and back with a vengeance.

I heard some fans saying that it is or will be the best goal of the season, a season that hasn’t even properly started yet… that would be some doing (but I do hope he gets more like that!).

Juventus had named a starting XI which included five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, alongside winners Leonardo Bonucci, Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi. Gianluigi Buffon, 41, was back in goal for the Italian giants too, while new signings Matthijs de Ligt and Adrien Rabiot came on as second-half substitutes.

As for us: we also had Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura, Alderweireld, and Dele Alli, to name but a few, all on show. There was also the first look at our new record signing Tanguy Ndombele, who didn’t let us down and will play an essential part in our quest for trophies…

We got the game underway with intensity, and it paid off, as Erik Lamela gave us a half-time lead. But Gonzalo Higuain completed a one-touch passing move to equalise, and then Ronaldo gave the fans in Singapore what they wanted with a thunderous finish.

With Clark Kent suit on Ndombele came on, suddenly ripping his clothes off to shows us his Superman costume underneath… Ok, I slightly exaggerate. But his first touch (superman quality or just Clarke Kent luck?), was subliminal, which was an assist for Moura’s equaliser, and what a stunning goal it was. His third touch was a magnificent ball, which, unfortunately, flew inches wide of the left post. Nevertheless, he was making his mark, a mark that said, he wasn’t just here for the ride. He was threatening and will continue to be threatening against those that dare to challenge us.

Minutes ticked by and the crowd were anticipating a penalty shoot out, suddenly up popped our boy (another one with the mindset of Super-hero) and from the halfway line, and in injury time, he scored (and yes, he being “one of our own” Harry Kane). It reminded me of Pat Jennings goal against Man United in our Charity shield all those years ago (back in the 60s, to be precise). Both were unexpected, but took the keepers’ by surprise. Jennings went over Alex Stepney’s head… both keepers felt like banana skins… (we laughed!). Oh, and let us not forget Paul Robinson’s goal, a free-kick from inside his own half during a Premier League match against Watford (all those goals I witnessed personally… with, no doubt, more to come…)

Fans, players, management and even the neutrals celebrated widely, the crowd went wild. That is how it should have been in the Champions League Final… it should have been and no doubt the next time around will be so, but let us not dwell on the past, just look forward to the future.

We supporters, already have a chant about scoring from the halfway line – relating to a goal by our former midfielder Nayim. Now, Kane’s name will replace Naym’s in our singsong mantra. It can only get better, we also sang.

Juventus (4-3-3): Buffon (Szczesny 46), Cancelo, Rugani (Demiral 46), Bonucci (c) (De Ligt 63), De Sciglio, Can (Rabiot 46), Pjanic (Muratore 76), Matuidi (Kastanos 76), Bernardeschi, Mandzukic (Higuain 46), Ronaldo (Pereira 63). Substitutes (not used): Pinsoglio, Loria, Di Pardo, Coccolo, Beruatto, Toure, Frederiksen, Mavididi.

Spurs (4-3-1-2): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters (Marsh 71), Alderweireld (c) (Foyth 46), Tanganga (Vertonghen 46), Georgiou (White 71), Skipp (Bowden 90+2), Winks (Roles 63), Dele (Sissoko 46), Lamela (Ndombele 63), Son (Lucas 46), Parrott (Kane 46). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Whiteman, Lyons-Foster, Eriksen.

I thought Skipp, Bowden, Roles and Parrott all played well. I think one or three, we might see in the up and coming league or cup matches. We have an abundance of talent on the fringes, all waiting, ready to get struck in once they are given a chance to prove their worth.

Next up is this season’s Europa League failures… sorry, challengers (actually, I am not sorry), United and that match will be at Hongkou Stadium, Shanghai. Hopefully, I’ll see you there.

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