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          Saturday 07th August 2010


Tottenham Hotspur    3      Fiorentina   2   (Half-time score : 1-2)

Venue : -  White Hart Lane
Saturday 07th August 2010
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   -  27,000 (approx)
Referee :  Stuart Attwell (Nuneaton)
Weather :  -   Warm, sunny, with occasional showers
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes  (23  Cudicini 68)

  4  Kaboul
19  Bassong
  King (c)  (28  Walker 68)
32  Assou-Ekotto  (16  Naughton 78)

  7  Lennon  (21  Kranjcar 46)
  8  Jenas  (  6  Huddlestone 46)
  Palacios  (29  Livermore 78)
13  dos Santos

  9  Pavyluchenko  (25  Rose 68)
15  Crouch  (10  Keane 46)

Unused subs: 
20  Dawson

Fiorentina :

  1  Frey  (35  Avramov  83)

25  Comotto    (29  De Silvestri  46)
14  Natali  (
  2  Kroldrup  58)
16  Felipe 
23  Pasqual  (
30  Gulan  58)

20  Waigo  (19  Agyei  83)
  4  Donadel  (c)  (
18  Montilivio  46)
15  Zanetti  (21 
D'Agostino  46)
32  Marchionni  (
27  Seferovic  83)

22  Ljajic  (28  Bolatti  78)
11  Gilardino  (
  9  Babacar  58)

Unused subs: 
12  Santos

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

all violet

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Pavlyuchenko  27
Keane  57
Keane 89


Gilardino  7
Ljajic 36
Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Palacios (foul)  4



Zanetti (pushing referee)  38
Montilivio (foul)  63


Match Report : -  
With a patchy pre-season in terms of players available and results wise, Spurs gave their hard-to-please fans a 3-2 come from behind win against Fiorentina before the real action starts next week against Manchester City.

With Ledley King perhaps surprisingly starting, it was a fairly strong Spurs team, with some notable absentees.  Jermain Defoe, Gareth Bale, Alan Hutton and Luka Modric were all missing and with an international week coming up, perhaps they were rested with this in mind.  They missed out on not only a game of two Tottenham sides, but two different season, with the game starting and ending in bright sunshine, although sandwiched between was a chilly, rainy spell that was most un-summer like.

There was a feisty start with Comotto coming through dos Santos from behind and then Palacios picking up a fourth minute booking for a tough tackle on Alberto Gilardino.  But the little striker was on the spot to give Fiorentina a seventh minute lead when Gomes fluffed a clearance to Papa Waigo, who was 35 yards out.  He moved forward to put in a cross from the right that Ledley King got under and vainly appealing for offside, Gilardino ghosted in behind him to head past Gomes from six yards out.  It was a little like the start to the Villarreal match, with Spurs needing to do something to convince the crowd for the friendly that they meant business of sorts.

Five minutes later, Aaron Lennon made Frey hurry backwards when his cross took a flick off a defender and threatened to loop in under the bar, but the French goalie tipped it over to make sure.  Peter Crouch hit a shot wide when Palacios played a good pass into him on the right, while Sebastien Bassong put in a crunching tackle on Waigo as he looked like he was about to shoot inside the penalty area.  The Senegalese midfielder had to have treatment and the Italians complained that it should have been a penalty, but it was a fair tackle, albeit a bit forceful for a friendly.  However, Bassong probably took the line that if you go in half-hearted, you end up coming out of a tackle injured and didn't want that to happen.

Ledley was giving cause for concern, as he appeared to be struggling for pace and was caught out for the opening goal and maybe his appearances this season will be reserved for what Harry feels are the most important games.

However, Tottenham got lucky and got level in the 27th minute, when the keeper played the ball out to Comotto, who dawdled on the bal and dos Santos took it off him just outside the box. He moved in on goal and as Frey came out and a defender closed him form the other side, he played it square to the unmarked Roman Pavlyuchenko, just three yards out, to tap into an empty net.  It was bright play by the young Mexican, who was aware of where his strike partner was.

Not the lead lasted too long, with Fiorentina hitting back in the 36th minute, as Spurs were once more caught out on the break.  Winning the ball, Fiorentina played the ball around and  Zanetti switched play from right to left, to where Marchionni was and he chipped the ball into the middle, where Ljajic arrived unmarked to tuck a volley away past Gomes.  It was a neat finish and Spurs allowed the wide man too much time to measure his ball in that lead to the goal, although they were helped by Ledley King being pulled ot the ground by one of the visiting forwards.

Tottenham had one more opportunity before the end of the half, when Crouch was brought down in a central position just outside the D.  The violet shirted players were incensed and two of them pushed referee Stuart Attwell and were lucky that they received only one yellow card between them.  As it was, the free-kick from Pavyluchenko hit the wall and was cleared away.

Half-time saw more great comments among the crowd and on the pitch, Paul Coit told the Junior Spurs to wave the flags they had been doled out.  It might have been better if the club had saved their money and dished them out for the Champions League games, but the fervent radio commercials trying to encourage people to attend this match perhaps showed how desperate they were to get them in.  The ground was a bit more than half-full, but once more, you wondered how many freebies had been handed out to make the crowd a reasonable size.

Half-time saw three changes on each side, with Redknapp using Keane to replace Crouch, Huddlestone coming on for Jenas and Kranjcar for Lennon.  The changes appeared to make Spurs a more solid unit and when Palacios moved forward to hit a shot just wide from 20 yards out, it looked as if they were gaining the upper hand.  The equaliser came in the 57th minute when Tom Huddlestone's passing came into it's own, finding Keane on the right side of the penalty area and he shot across Frey and low into the opposite corner to make it 2-2.  It was a well taken goal and showed good patience in the build-up to wait for the right moment to open the Fiorentina defence.

The visitors immediately made a couple of changes at the back and one up front, but Tottenham continued to push forward and Montilivio picked up a yellow card after he tripped Giovani as he went through.  Tommy Hud stepped up to take the dead ball kick and curled it over the wall, but Frey did well to dive to his right to palm the ball out for a corner in the 64th minute, but it was Fiorentina who should have taken the lead when substitute Babacar headed over from right in front of goal when the cross from the right exposed Spurs in the air again. 

Spurs were the team who got the ball in the net next on 68 minutes, although a well worked move on the left saw Keane pull a low ball back for Pav to slot home from close range, but the linesman had obviously got the half-time message about waving his flag, as it was up well before the ball went in.  Spurs took off Gomes, King and Pavyluchenko, bringing on Cudicini, Walker and Rose.  This lead to Kaboul moving into the middle of the defence with Bassong and Gio and Keane playing up front, with Rose playing on the right of midfield.

Within three minutes of the changes, Spurs hit the post, with Kranjcar skimming a low shot along the turf and striking the woodwork on the outside of the woodwork.  With ten minutes left, the Croatian and Rose played a nice move on the right and Rose was in the box with space, hitting a shot that went into the side netting at Frey's near post.

There was also a free-kick for Tottenham when one of the Fiorentina subs was embarrassed when Danny Rose totally left him for dead with an outrageous dummy, but then he caught the winger and made sure he didn't progress any further.  It was Kranjcar who put the ball in and Frey did well to get to the ball and knock it away from goal.  It was about the last thing the Frenchman did, as it was he who was one of three late replacements, but things were still going Tottenham's way and in the last minute, one of the Spurs subs - Jake Livermore - played a first time pass through the right side of the Viola defence, dissecting two defenders to find Robbie Keane about 25 yards out.  The Spurs striker looked at least a yard offside, but the flag stayed down and he took the ball into the area and struck a shot between the reserve keeper Avaramov's legs to find the net and make it 3-2 with hardly any time remaining.

Fiorentina did try and draw level in added time, with Seferovic getting in behind Kyle Walker, then pulling a low cross along the six yard line, but Babacar had not made enough ground to meet the bal land the chance went untaken to leave Spurs 3-2 victors at the final whistle.

This friendly was another opportunity to pit our wits against a side with some European football experience, but for a large section of the assembled "supporters", a win was what they had come to see and that was all that mattered.  Some near me complained of the lack of atmosphere, while others struggled to tell the difference between Ledley King and Danny Rose, while I heard another say that he loved coming to the ground when it was all standing when he used to stand on the Kippax !! 

They all went home happy and although there was nothing riding on the game ... not even some made-up non-entity of a trophy ... there are questions that Harry Redknapp will need to address before the important first three weeks of our season.

marco van hip


And for those of you who want to know what Fiorentina reported, here is the Google translated version of their match tracker ...

2 '  Action Dos Santos, good defense to defend breach closing and restarting.
5'  Admonition to Palacios, guilty of having landed badly Gilardino.
7'  Papa Waigo puts in half, Gilardino headed his way to the purple door ahead.
16'  Crouch after a long beat and hammered in the area of hitch kicks, ball out of breath.
20'  Fiorentina trying to restart, Spurs find them without looking for spaces in the defense purple.
22'  are felt fifty purple fans in the stands.  While Gilardino and Marchionni try to go in goal with two touches, but Gomes anticipated output.
23'  Papa Waigo opposed by Palacios has the worst. Limp but gets up and continues his race.
27'  Dos Santos steals ball defense and put purple in the middle, Pavlyuchenko supports two passi. 1-1 in London
35'  Botta and response, Crouch goal in nearly reversed, with Zanetti counter that opens Marchionni ball in the middle, Ljajic with precision strikes and Gomes beats on the fly. 2-1 to the Viola.
37'  Admonished Zanetti for a foul on Crouch from the edge.
38'   Free kick from the edge, corner Felipe sends back a shot dangerous.
42'   counterattack purple Pasqual who steals the ball and opens purple trocar Zanetti, Papa Waigo cut on the opposite side and cross in the middle, the' Spurs' free with Palacios
46'   After a minute, the first portion closes with Fiorentina the lead to 2-1
47 '  Inside-D'Agostino Montolivo as announced before the defense, De Silvestri Comotto right.
53'   Wilson Palacios pulls out a claim by its limit, as demonstrated at the World Cup, but the aims and slightly inaccurate. But the door remains saved by Frey.
56'   Tottenham equalized with an old acquaintance of Italian football, Robby Keane excess Frey out on a through ball from Palacios.
62'   Admonished Montolivo for a foul on Dos Santos
64'   Frey to lift off from the intersection of punishment neoentrato Huddlestone
69'   rightly rescinded a network for the Spurs offside.  Pavlychenko was staying illegally sull'assist Keane
71'   Still Frey player on the conclusion of Keane
73'   Dento Bolatti Ljajic out, it changes the tactics behind purple Montolivo and Babacar Bolatti and D'Agostino front of the defense
74'   Kroldrup is timely in closing on Keane and send in a corner.
81'   D'Agostino launches Babacar, Naughton anticipates corner
82'   Kranjkar  kick from the edge intersection, Frey sends corner dive.
88'   Tottenham surpasses the final ball to Keane who Kranjkar filter thread on the offside, and tapped out Avramov.




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