Celtic 1 (1) Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday 2nd August 2014 Kick off 14:30
Olympic Stadium, Helsinki
Adebayor (p) 88
Ambrose (foul on Adebayor) 81
|Crowd : ,||Weather : Warm, sunny|
|Referee : - (-)||Assistant Referees : - (-)|
|Fourth Official : -||-|
|Celtic kicked off the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 8 minutes.|
|Glasgow Celtic :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Holmbert FRIJONSSON 78)
Amido BALDE 52)
Kyle NAUGHTON (43
Nabil BENTALEB 46)
Emmanuel ADEBAYOR 46)
|Manager : Ronny Deila||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : Magners||Shirt sponsor : Hewlett Packard|
|Kit Supplier : Umbro||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
It was all clearly a case of men against Bhoys ... in more ways than one, as Spurs swept aside a Celtic Under-21 side with a few senior players thrown in, mainly those who would not be involved in second leg of their Champions League qualifier next week.
Helsinki was bathed in warm sunshine, as the teams took to their field, with Tottenham fielding a similar side to that which started in North America, but shaped up in a 4-4-2 formation. Kane and Soldado headed the line-up, with Capoue (becoming a regular starter), alongside Ryan Mason, Townsend and the busy Lewis Holtby in midfield. New signing Ben Davies filled the left back slot at the start and inside him were Dawson and Kaboul, with Kyle Naughton at right back.
Celtic's line up included all but a couple of familiar names, with Efe Ambrose suspended for the European tie next week and Teemu Pukki probably picked for his association with Finland. The remainder were youngsters who were filling the side, as this friendly came four days before they played Legia Warsaw and facing the task of over-coming a 1-4 deficit. But the youthful exuberance saw the Celtic side attack from the off, forcing Ben Davies to head behind for a corner. But Spurs broke from that corner and almost got Holtby through, but Davies' pass was deflected and went into Craig Gordon's hands.
In the fourth minute, Andros Townsend broke on the left and got to the dead ball line, pulling the ball back to Harry Kane on the edge of the 18 yard box and he shot high into the roof of the net past Gordon's dive to put Tottenham into an early lead. Roberto Soldado looked lively and almost got behind O'Connell on one occasion before Kane freed Holtby to pull a ball back to the Spanish striker, who was denied by the keeper, but got the rebound and shot into the net from about eight yards out. Fourteen minutes gone and 2-0 to Spurs.
Roberto almost made it three with a glancing header, meeting Townsend's cross from the right wing, but this time he failed to hit the target. Tottenham had to make an unexpected change, when Michael Dawson went down heavily after winning a header and on 20 minutes, he was replaced by Zeki Fryers. There was little change to the Spurs pattern of play and at times, it looked like attack v defence in a training game, such was Tottenham's dominance. Kane fired in a drive that was deflected over for a corner and from it Younes Kaboul headed at goal, but straight at the goalie.
Brad Friedel was having a reasonably quiet afternoon, with a couple of crosses into the area and a free-kick hit wide of the goal from out on the left of the penalty area. He was called on to save from Pukki, but it was a tame effort. Four minutes before half-time, Soldado and Kane exchanged passes with the youngster trying to manufacture a dink over the keeper, but a block took any threat out of the effort and then Celtic moved play to the other end. Some close passing allowed Henderson in on the left of the area and his low shot took a touch off Kyle Naughton's leg to wrong-foot Friedel, but the keeper threw out a leg to stop the ball getting past him. However, Henderson reacted quickly to dink a cross into the middle of the six yard box and with Zeki Fryers being caught the wrong side of his man, he headed the ball back towards his own goal from inside the six yard box and it was reported that Jamie Lindsay got the last touch to the ball before Brad tried, but failed to stop it crossing the line down to his left. It was a soft goal to let in right before half-time, which allowed Celtic to bring the score-line back to a respectable 1-2.
Until, that was, Lewis Holtby broke into the box to get on the end of Etienne Capoue's pass, when he fooled the defence by shaping to shoot and then released the ball. The German midfielder shot across Gordon from the right of the box to bury the ball in the opposite bottom corner and restored the two goal cushion going into half-time.
Half-time saw Tottenham make a number of substitutions, but Celtic kept their eleven that started the first half, giving Spurs the benefit of fresh legs and more experience with Lamela, Adebayor, Lennon, Rose and Eriksen among the replacements. Nabil Bentaleb was back after his travails in the World Cup with Algeria and he looked lively and keen to impress, but often his shots on goal were not too close to the target.
While Celtic were busy, they rarely got through to trouble Brad in the second period and quite often they were calling for free-kicks when stronger Spurs players eased them off the ball. Erik Lamela scored just after the hour, with the sort of goal he has scored before this pre-season, cutting in from the right and unleashing a shot from 25 yards, this time hitting a defender to send Craig Gordon the wrong way and leave the ball in the bottom left hand corner of the keeper's goal.
As the changes were made on both sides, Spurs easily passed the ball around and Lamela almost broke away, but passed to Lennon, who slowed the move down when Celtic were out-numbered. Erik almost slipped a straight pass into the box for Adebayor, but Ambrose managed to know the ball away from Manny, just by the penalty spot.
Ambrose also denied Ade, when he was turned outside the box and he took the Spurs striker down 20 yards from goal. The centrally placed free-kick was taken by Eriksen and he found the top right hand corner of Gordon's goal past the keeper's dive. Two minutes later it could have been worse, when Lennon pulled the ball back to the heart of the box from the left and Adebayor's first time shot bounced out off the bottom of the post. As it was on 87 minutes, Rose burst into the box on the left past Ambrose, who took him down and the ref pointed to the penalty spot. Adebayor stepped up and stroked the ball to the keeper's left and with Gordon going the wrong way, the ball went in off the post to make it 6-1.
Within a minute of the 90 passing, Ambrose once more brought down Adebayor, 10 yards inside the Spurs half and he picked up his second yellow card to see red for twice inside one week, having been dismissed in Celtic's Champions League qualifier in Warsaw. Spurs set up Bentaleb with a shooting chance, which he put too high, as the Celtic youngsters wilted in the heat and would have been grateful for the final whistle, having been given the run-around in this heat.
Whether this was a useful run out for Spurs is questionable, but 21 players got match time, they looked better together and it is interesting to see who Poch is giving more time to. One more game remains before the start of the season and there is a possibility of a new face or two before then, with others coming in after the season kicks off, so this is the style to be adopted. It now needs the players to get fit to fit into it.
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