Andre Villas-Boas selected his strongest team yet in pre-season with Hugo Lloris in goal and Steven Caulker partnering Michael Dawson in central defence in place of the injured Jan Vertonghen. Mousa Dembele played his first game and Defoe started as did Aaron Lennon. Gareth Bale was still out with injury so has only played 45 minutes in pre-season.
Tottenham won their first game of pre-season with an emphatic 6 – 0 win over South China to finish third in the Barclays Asia Cup. Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick with the other goals coming from Clint Dempsey, Andros Townsend and an own goal.
Team: Lloris; Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Rose; Dembele, Parker, Sigurdsson; Lennon, Defoe, Dempsey. Subs: Friedel, Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Fryers, Naughton, Carroll, Huddlestone, Livermore, Townsend
Tottenham started in a much more positive mood today and went ahead through an own goal after 12 minutes when Danny Rose’s cross was deflected into the net. Spurs continued to dominate against South China who had lost to Manchester City by a single goal in the semi-final match on Wednesday. With just under half an hour played Spurs could have increased their lead but Defoe’s shot from Rose’s cross was saved by the goalkeeper. Then a minute later from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick, Defoe hit the post.
After 33 minutes, the second goal came when Defoe reached Caulker’s headed clearance and set up Dempsey with a low cross from the right. Spurs added a third a minute before the interval when Kyle Walker’s free-kick deflected off the wall to Defoe who scored from 12 yards.
For the second half Kyle Naughton replaced Walker and Tom Carroll came on for Dempsey. The fourth goal came after 53 minutes when Defoe went for a pass from Rose and blocked the goalkeeper’s clearance to put the ball into an empty net. Defoe was twice denied his hat-trick with saves by the keeper and for the final thirty minutes Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone, Zeke Fryers and Andros Townsend replaced Scott Parker, Dembele, Rose and Lennon.
Defoe’s hat-trick finally came with ten minutes remaining when Huddlestone and Sigurdsson linked to release Defoe for the fifth. The final goal was scored by Townsend with two minutes to play from a curling free-kick from the edge of the area. In the final minute Lloris made a save to deny South China as Spurs recorded a very comfortable victory.
With two pre-season matches to play against European teams Spurs will be wanting to have their two new signings, Paulinho and Nacer Chadli, available to build up an understanding within the team and hopefully Bale will shake off his injury as well. The one player who to date has had little playing time is Benoit Assou-Ekotto who again did not feature in the team with Fryers getting to opportunity at left back for the final thirty minutes in place of Rose. A comfortable win against weaker opposition but there will be tougher tests ahead in the next two games against Monaco and Espanyol.