Heung-Min Son scoring twice and Dele Alli with two assists are the headlines in Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 win over Ipswich Town in Spurs first preseason game.
Tottenham Hotspur hosted Ipswich Town in the first preseason match of the 2020-21 season.
Besides a couple of Heung-Min Son goals and Dele Alli assists, what did we see from Jose Mourinho and Spurs in the 3-0 victory that fans should be excited about?
Spurs stars lead
Anytime you play a team two divisions beneath your own – even in preseason – you do not want to lose the match. If your talent shows up that should not happen and while Tottenham Hotspur did not get a complete game from the first team, there was a strong squad to start and big names came up big.
The first goal demonstrated the vision and playmaking ability of Alli when he has a little space and time to pick his head up. After receiving the ball near midfield, Dele started to attack and then cut back to create some space and time on the ball. As Dele looked up, he saw Son breaking toward him near the edge of the box, which pulled the defenders up.
Behind Son, starting on the left outside of midfield – more on Tottenham formation later – Ryan Sessegnon was flashing in. His touch initially looked a bit too far out in front of him, but it put the ball into space beyond the reacting defense. After another touch to gain his balance, Sessegnon struck with his right foot back across the goal.
The strike was far from pure, but the approach was spot on, as the cutback shot caught Ipswich keeper David Cornell wrong-footed and rolled into the back of the net for a 1-0 Spurs lead about six minutes in. Then less than five minutes later, under-pressure David Cornell made a poor decision after a back pass, and instead of booting the ball out, he tried to play a pass up the middle to his defense.
It was at this moment of decision Spurs fans got their first real taste of what Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg brings to the team as he stepped in toward the pass, sliding to break up the attempt. Hojbjerg’s touch went straight to Dele who played the ball calmly back to Son, who managed to pass the ball between two defenders and the sprawling Cornell into the back of the net.
Ten minutes into the match and it was 2-0 Spurs to the good and Dele had two assists and Hojbjerg had his first real contribution. To say the match could not have started any better is probably an understatement at this point, as Spurs went into cruise control. While this approach has seen bad repercussions in the past – Juventus comes to mind – this was a preseason match against a League One side and there was no reason to put the foot on the throat in a friendly.
Near the half-hour mark, Juan Foyth showed some of the good he brings to the team with an excellent through ball – cannot remember the last time I typed that in a positive way in a Spurs match – to Son who had timed his run perfectly and then managed to dink the ball over Cornell into the net for a 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur lead.
This third and final goal was certainly the best of the bunch for Spurs as both Foyth and Son demonstrated something special on the play with the pass and finish. Tottenham never scored again, but the damage was done, and the match was as much about fitness and formation as anything, so well-done starters.