Maurizio Sarri’s first game in charge of Juventus was certainly an entertaining one, ending in a 3-2 defeat at the Singapore National Stadium in the International Champions Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur deserved the win in the end with Harry Kane scoring the winner just as it looked as though the game would be going to penalties.
Story of the game
The first chance of the game came after four minutes when Oliver Skipp won the ball back for Spurs from Blaise Matuidi before Troy Parrott found Son Heung-min on the left-hand side of the box but his shot clipped the near post and went wide.
Spurs ultimately took the lead on the half-hour mark.
Parrott started the move in his own half before laying the ball to Son, he returned the favour to Parrott who had continued his run, whilst the Irishman’s shot was saved by Gianluigi Buffon and parried to Erik Lamela who tapped it in.
It was almost 2-0 a few minutes later but Parrott’s tap-in was disallowed for offside after Dele Alli’s excellent pass sent Son through down the left-hand side.
Juventus equalised ten minutes after the break with Gonzalo Higuain firing the ball low into the near post. It was an undeserved goal from the balance of play but a moment of quality from Higuain.
Kane had a good opportunity to regain his side the lead, beating Leonardo Bonucci to the ball but heading wide when he should have hit the target.
By the hour mark, Cristiano Ronaldo had given Juventus the lead, Joao Cancelo picked him out from the left-hand side before Ronaldo’s effort was deflected in.
Five minutes later Lucas Moura had Spurs’ second of the game. Record signing Tanguy Ndombele had been on for a matter of seconds before finding Lucas who equalised.
After a trademark run from Moussa Sissoko, the Frenchman found Kane who struck a left-footed effort just wide. Higuain then had a fantastic opportunity, making a run behind the opposition defence only to miss the target.
Kane won the game for Spurs on the 93rd minute, scoring an unbelievable goal from just in front of the halfway line, one of the best goals you will see this season.
Parrott was a standout player of the game, the 17-year-old played the first 45 minutes and had a brilliant game up against world-class defenders, looking comfortable throughout.
His hold up play allowed Spurs to come forward from defence when they needed to, whilst he was comfortable in possession when on the ball.
His hard work allowed him to win the ball back on several occasions as well as getting into great positions off the ball for his teammates to pick him out, he played a big part in the first goal and as a young player stood out amongst the others on the pitch.
Skipp played 90 minutes and was another promising player, he controlled the game well and won the ball back aggressively, often winning second balls and keeping his side in possession.
Pochettino's pressing game leads the way
The high press from Mauricio Pochettino’s side caused Juventus problems for the whole game, with the forward players pressing the defence when losing the ball in attack, whilst the likes of Skipp and Harry Winks did the same when Juventus were able to bring the ball further forward, both of those were also very comfortable on the ball and won the ball back for Spurs on several occasions.
One of the biggest takeaways from the match from a Spurs perspective was the performances of the younger players, as well as other players who were not regular starters last season.
Along with the stand-out performance from Parrot, the likes of Japhet Tangana, whose aggressive style of defence worked well, Anthony Georgiou, George Marsh and Paulo Gazzaniga all showed that they can give Pochettino something to think about for the upcoming season.
Sarri's Juve still getting settled
As for Juventus, it was clear to see that they will need more time under Sarri before they are at their best, they struggled to keep with the high press of Spurs but the quality and mentality from the likes of Ronaldo meant they were able to get back into the game in the second half, where they were able to keep possession further up the pitch and create more chances.
Next up for the North London side in their pre-season campaign is Manchester United on Thursday, whilst Juventus face Inter Milan on Wednesday.