Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Inter Milan: Spurs beaten on penalties at new stadium
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Lucas Moura of Spurs celebrates with teammate Erik Lamela after scoring the first goal of the game during the 2019 International Champions Cup match between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Internazionale at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on August 4, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/International Champions Cup/International Champions Cup via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur suffered a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat in their final pre-season fixture ahead of the new Premier League season, with Inter Milan's Joao Mario scoring the winning spot-kick.

Oliver Skipp and Christian Eriksen both missed as Inter triumphed after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Lucas Moura gave Tottenham the lead after just two minutes but Stefano Sensi combined with Sebastiano Esposito to level things before half-time.

Tottenham came close to a win late on and the arrival of a large cohort of youngsters kept the pace and intensity of the game at a high level. This was the final match ahead of the start of their domestic campaign against Aston Villa next weekend.

Story of the match

With a touch and a shift of the body to the right, Lucas Moura found space just inside the Inter penalty area and lashed a second-minute shot past Handanovic to give Spurs an early lead.

Lucas and Lamela's partnership during pre-season has been noted and celebrated and it continued to flourish at home in North London, where Tottenham kick off their Premier League campaign next weekend against Aston Villa.

Lamela provided the pass for Moura's opener and Tottenham took charge for the opening half-hour. Kyle Walker-Peters was a clear problem for Inter and he became a target of regular fouls. His pace and confidence down the right side will be key this season.

A weak drive from Ivan Perisic was Inter's only contribution until they burst out of the blocks with sudden ferocity. Brozovic pounced onto a loose pass from Walker-Peters and delivered a tantalisingly close curling effort from 25 yards. Rather than cracking against Lloris' left post, it simply sat against the white woodwork and came back off it.

Sensi equalises after Esposito one-two

Minutes later, Stefano Sensi bounced the ball against Sebastiano Esposito and collected it on the other side of his marker. He paused, allowed Lloris to wait and begin to fall back and then slotted it into the far right corner for the equaliser.

Inter offered little else, though. They remain at an earlier stage of their pre-season than Spurs and it showed at times. Tanguy Ndombele, Tottenham's midfield summer signing, wasn't involved much during the first half and will need time to adjust to life in English football, but, though only with brief glimpses, he demonstrated why he will be worth the £45 million fee.

Pochettino brought Christian Eriksen on at half-time with the Dane's future at the club still unsure, much like Toby Alderweireld who also arrived after the break. Eriksen opened up the midfield more for Spurs who had previously looked devoid of much creativity.

Yet the second half was uneventful until Heung-Min Son arrived to great cheers at this wonderful new stadium. With 12 minutes remaining, he countered for Spurs, scooping the ball to bring it with him past the half-way line on the break and cantering down into the box. Support arrived by Son pulled off two stepovers and fired into Handanovic's body.

The final 10 minutes were a succession of substitutions, though the pace of the game remained high for pre-season. Pochettino's men came close to avoiding penalties as Parrott, Nkoudou and a varied collection of youngsters added pace.

But it came down to a shoot-out in the final International Champions Cup game, a profit-driven tournament that has exploited the global interest in European football but has genuinely increased the entertainment on offer in pre-season.

Eriksen and Skipp miss

Eriksen and Puscas stepped up first and both saw their efforts saved, Gazzaniga pulling off a superb flying stop to keep the score level after a tame effort from Eriksen.

Both teams delivered the next three penalties until Oliver Skipp's effort was saved and Joao Mario converted to win it for Inter.

Takeaways from the match

Ndombele will take time to impress

The French midfielder is an excellent signing for Tottenham, but even in this 'friendly' environment in North London, he looked off the pace.

He's admitted that he's finding it hard to adjust to the pace and intensity of Spurs under Pochettino and that means it may be a while before the Premier League sees the best of the new £45 million man.

Against Inter, there were few driving runs from Ndombele and little movement as he started on the left of a three-man midfield. The rest of his teammates look more prepared for next weekend's match against Villa than he does.

A homely feel

The new Tottenham Hotspur stadium certainly feels new in its design, cleanliness and technology. But it appears the Spurs fans feel at home already. The short spell of games at the very end of last season will have helped with that. Being able to start the season with the excitement of a new season and stadium but without talk of curses and problems is a luxury that Pochettino will be pleased to have.

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