SOCCER

Rangers 1-2 Tottenham: Kane brace leads Spurs to pre-season win at Ibrox

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Tottenham Hotspur traveled to Glasgow today for a pre-season friendly against Rangers at the historic Ibrox Stadium, and despite scoring in the first half they emerged 2-1 winners in the first Walter Tull Memorial Cup. Harry Kane scored both of Tottenham’s goals, both in the second half and with force. Son Heung-Min had assists for both goals.

Walter Tull was the first mixed-race player to play football for both Tottenham and Rangers, and the trophy was presented to former Spurs and Rangers striker Jermain Defoe. It was the first chance to see Tottenham new signings Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet, Yves Bissouma and Djed Spence.

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Here are my reactions after what turned out to be an entertaining football match!

First half reactions

  • The opening of the first half was significantly more intense than in previous friendlies. The Patterns™ in full screen.
  • Rangers’ first goal, a defensive breakdown, started with a gift from Sanchez. The goal might have deflected Dier, hard to see.
  • Very dangerous Spurs going forward, Deki had a few chances which he passed up as it would have been a right footed shot. The first time he shot with his preferred left, it resulted in a good save from the keeper.
  • Royal is noticeably weak on the attacking side of the ball which we should be used to by now, but somehow that’s still a thing.
  • Spurs executed set pieces, and it was noticeable!

Second half reactions

  • Curious that Conte had two proper right-wing full-backs on the bench and instead opted to bring in Lucas Moura at half-time for Emerson Royal. Hmmm. (And again, he was pretty good there!)
  • Harry Kane’s goals were incredible. For his first, he collected the ball to the top left of the box, took a dribble, and BANG, top corner. Not salvageable. What a strike. We win the league.
  • Kane’s second goal was just as good. Vintange combo between Son and Kane who fired at home again. He looks in great shape and we are still two weeks away from the start of the season.
  • Not really a Spurs sighting, but Rangers’ Tavernier looks like a real player. A smart club should buy him.
  • It was our first real look at Yves Bissouma, and it felt like he didn’t have much to do as Spurs directed most of their attacks through the wide areas. Play as standard DM with more advanced Hojbjerg.
  • Similarly but in reverse, Pape Sarr seemed a bit hesitant on the pitch today, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He didn’t step out of his comfort zone but didn’t spoil anything either. I’m increasingly of the opinion that we should keep him, especially if Skippy’s health is going to be an issue.
  • Djed Spence also made his debut. His first contribution was a good recovery tackle in the Spurs box, but that understates that he was beaten by his man just before. Looked raw with some physical tools, about what we expected.
  • Was interested to see Lenglet in action as he will most likely start against Southampton. Impressed by its long passing, but I haven’t watched it long enough to form a definitive opinion. Noticed he was caught out of position a few times, but had a strong block and some decent tackles.
  • Ivan Perisic – wow. Impressed. Doesn’t move very fast, but has a great delivery and it’s obvious he’s already learned The Patterns™. Gave instructions to Sess and others on where to move and when. Also has some really sassy moves and tried a sweet aerial kick attempt in front of goal.
  • Most of the exchanges on Twitter were about arguing over whether the ketchup was a) good and b) should be refrigerated or not. Put your spicy ketchup takes in the comments.

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