Spurs are defeated by Atletico Madrid in International Champions Cup
Tottenham were defeated in Melbourne for the second time this week after a 1-0 loss against a strong Atletico Madrid side in the pre-season International Champions Cup tournament.
Having gone down 2-1 against Juventus on Tuesday, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were unable to find a response to Diego Godin’s 40th-minute goal.
However, the Lilywhites will feel unfortunate to have lost to Diego Simeone’s side - who have been involved in two of the last three Champions League finals - at the MCG today.
Josh Onomah and Erik Lamela both hit the woodwork before Atletico broke the deadlock, and Ryan Mason and Vincent Janssen were denied by goalkeeper Jan Oblak in the second half.
There were six changes from the Spurs side that had lined up to face Juventus three days previously.
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Anton Walkes replaced Dominc Ball at centre-back, while DeAndre Yedlin was selected at left-back - and Harry Winks, Christian Eriksen, Lamela and Onomah were chosen instead of Ryan Mason, Heung-Min Son, Tom Carroll and Nacer Cadli.
All of the incoming players had impressed in the second half against Juventus earlier in the week – a half that Spurs won 1-0 after Lamela’s strike - and they performed well again from the start today.
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Although there was a warning sign at a set piece early on, when Fernando Torres headed over, Tottenham took control of the game. Eriksen, Lamela and Janssen linked up nicely, while Victor Wanyama and Winks moved the ball quickly in their deeper-lying midfield roles.
Janssen turned smartly on the right side and found Eriksen, whose low 25-yard drive was saved. Yedlin then burst down the left side to win a corner and, when Atletico failed to clear, Onomah sent a volley crashing against the crossbar from eight yards.
Soon afterwards, Onomah pushed the ball forward to Lamela, who played a one-two with Janssen and protected the bouncing ball in the box before shooting against the left post.
Spurs were unlucky not to be ahead and, having been 2-0 down against Juventus after 15 minutes on Tuesday, they also looked more solid at the back, with Walkes paying close attention to Torres and showing good pace against the Spaniard.
Unfortunately, two of Spurs’ promising youngsters were involved when the Lilywhites fell behind five minutes before the break. Winks conceded a free kick with a tackle from behind just outside his box and, when the ball was chipped forward, Walkes could only flick a header backwards to Godin, who finished across Michel Vorm.
Pochettino withdrew Lamela, Eriksen and Wanyama at half-time and, while Spurs continued to dominate possession, they consequently lost a lot of their incision.
Instead, Atletico got a sight of goal as a clever free kick was played down the side of Tottenham’s wall, only for Tiago to float his attempted cross beyond the far post.
It took almost until the hour-mark for Spurs to really threaten in the second period but, when the chance came, it was a good one. Janssen held the ball up well and Son chipped the ball in to his fellow substitute Mason, who arrived in the box and saw his powerful shot well saved by Oblak.
Shortly after, Janssen whipped a left-footed free kick towards the bottom left corner, only to be denied as Atletico’s keeper made another diving stop.
Pochettino made further changes, denying Yedlin a chance to play in his preferred role at right-back by substituting the American along with Trippier, who was replaced by youngster Kyle Walker-Peters.
Luke McGee was given a turn in goal, while 17-year-old attacking midfielder Marcus Edwards was brought into the fray and Ball took his place alongside Mason in midfield.
The changes disrupted Spurs’ rhythm and Atletico had the better chances in the closing stages. Saul Niguez put a free kick over the top left corner and Amath Ndiaye then saw a shot deflected over before curling the ball wide of McGee’s goal.
Tottenham first-half line-up: Vorm, Trippier, Walkes, Carter-Vickers, Yedlin, Wanyama, Winks, Lamela, Onomah, Eriksen, Janssen.
Substitutes used: McGee, Miller, Walker-Peters, Mason, Ball, Edwards, Carroll, Son, Chadli
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs