Tottenham produce impressive Barcelona comeback, but suffer another injury in midfield
PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 July 2018
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International Champions Cup: Barcelona 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Spurs produced an excellent second half display to fight back from two goals down against Barcelona to draw 2-2 in the International Champions Cup, but they went on to lose on penalties and also suffer another injury concern.
There were plenty of positives for boss Mauricio Pochettino to take from their second game in the United States.
A caveat was the injury suffered by Moussa Sissoko on Saturday night in California, which adds to the fitness issues in the centre of midfield.
Tottenham Hotspur included Heung-min Son from the off this time after he had made a cameo in the 4-1 win over AS Roma last week.
Paulo Gazzaniga also started while Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kyle Walker-Peters and Luke Amos were given further opportunities.
The Barcelona team failed to include all of their star-studded names, but Jasper Cillessen started in goal with Nelson Semedo, Denis Suarez, Sergi Roberto, Andre Gomes and Rafinha also starting.
It was Ernesto Valverde’s side who took the lead with quarter of an hour played when Munir El Haddadi headed home from close range.
Barca made it 2-0 just before the half an hour mark when Brazilian Arthur let fly from range and fired into the top corner.
Spurs were given another problem in the 35th minute when Sissoko limped off with what is believed to be a hamstring issue and was replaced by Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.
The first half soon come to a close and Pochettino made two changes as Davinson Sanchez replaced Walker-Peters while young midfielder Oliver Skipp came on for Fernando Llorente.
And it immediately helped the Lilywhites get on top as captain for the night Christian Eriksen hit the woodwork with a fine free kick.
Pochettino saw his team continue to press and in the 73rd minute they pulled one back when Son tapped home from close range after Eriksen had been denied by Cillessen.
Less than two minutes later and it was 2-2 when Nkoudou was quickest to a loose ball inside the area to tap home after a stunning goalline clearance.
The last quarter of an hour was played out without much to note and so penalty kicks were required at the Rose Bowl Stadium.
Son and Ben Davies scored from the spot, but Anthony Georgiou was denied and even though Sanchez kept his cool, Barcelona converted their five shots from 12-yards to claim a 5-3 shoot-out success.
Pochettino could be proud of the effort of his inexperienced team and will hope for no more injuries when they take on AC Milan this week.
Tottenham Hotspur: Gazzaniga (Vorm 61); Aurier, Carter-Vickers, Davies, Walker-Peters (Sanchez 46); Amos, Sissoko (Nkoudou 35); Moura (Georgiou 61), Eriksen ©, Son; Llorente (Skipp 46).
Unused substitutes: Whiteman, Eyoma, Marsh.