Rampant Spurs maintain winning run by thrashing Celtic
16:47 02 August 2014
PA Archive/Press Association Images
Tottenham recorded the third successive victory of their pre-season programme with a comfortable and comprehensive 6-1 victory over Celtic in Helsinki, Finland.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side drew their first friendly fixture against Seattle Sounders (3-3) but completed their tour of the USA with back-to-back victories over Toronto (3-2) and Chicago Fire (2-0).
They maintained their winning run in some style today - albeit against a heavily weakened Celtic side who played a Champions League qualifier on Wednesday night.
The impressive Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado established a 2-0 lead inside the opening 11 minutes and, although Celtic hit back, Lewis Holtby made it 3-1 at the interval – and there were three more second-half goals through Erik Lamela, a free-kick from Christian Eriksen and a penalty from Emmanuel Adebayor.
Andros Townsend lined up on the left flank at kick-off, with Kane operating behind frontman Soldado. And, while Celtic initially started brightly, Tottenham took the lead in just the fourth minute.
Townsend raced down the left flank and reached the by-line before cutting the ball back to Kane, who took a touch just inside the box and then slotted into the top left corner.
It was a clinical finish from the 21-year-old, who netted his second goal in two games, having also opened the scoring inside four minutes against Chicago Fire in the previous match.
The Lilywhites doubled their lead seven minutes later and Kane was heavily involved again, showing good strength to advance to the edge of the area and then play Lewis Holtby in with a perfectly-timed through ball. The German unselfishly squared to Soldado and, although the Spaniard was initially denied by the onrushing Craig Gordon, he made no mistake with the rebound.
Spurs threatened again moments later as Kyle Naughton crossed from the right by-line, and Soldado darted to the near post to meet it but directed his header wide of the back stick.
Pochettino was forced to make an early change as Michael Dawson limped off in the 19th minute, being replaced by Zeki Fryers.
However, Spurs continued to press forward and the influential Kane played a neat one-two on the edge of the box before seeing his 20-yard strike deflected over the bar.
The Scottish champions were offering little and it took 37 minutes before Brad Friedel was really called into action, gathering a tame shot from the edge of the box.
However, Celtic pulled a goal back near the end of the half. Friedel saved Dylan McGeouch’s low shot with his legs but the Scot recovered the rebound and lofted the ball to the back post, where Jamie Lindsay headed home - despite Friedel’s sprawling attempt to stop the ball from crossing the line.
It did not matter though because Tottenham quickly re-established their two-goal advantage in first-half injury-time, with Etienne Capoue venturing upfield and freeing Holtby, who fired low across Gordon.
Pochettino made six changes at the interval, with Danny Rose replacing Ben Davies in the defence, Nabil Bentaleb coming on for Ryan Mason and the front four all being swapped.
The substitutions affected Spurs’ cutting edge for 15 minutes, but they kept the ball well. And, just after the hour-mark, Lamela picked the ball up on the right-hand side, accelerated infield and unleashed a 25-yard drive which was deflected past Gordon.
It was the Argentine’s third goal in four pre-season games under his countryman Pochettino - and Spurs weren’t finished.
As the game entered the last 10 minutes, Younes Kaboul played a fine forward pass that dissected Celtic’s midfield and found Adebayor, whose first touch took him in behind the defence.
The Togo frontman was tripped as he ran through on goal, but Eriksen punished the offence with a superb free-kick, curling the ball into the top left corner.
Moments later Aaron Lennon wriggled free on the left and slipped the ball inside to Adebayor, whose snapshot came back off the post.
And, with 88 minutes on the clock, Rose darted to the by-line and was barged over by Efe Ambrose, winning a penalty which was converted by Adebayor, in off the right stick.
Ambrose’s day quickly got worse as he was shown a second yellow card - following his dismissal in the Champions League qualifier against Legia Warsaw in midweek - but there was little time for Spurs to take advantage and pile on the misery even further.
Tottenham will host German outfit Schalke at White Hart Lane next Saturday before starting their Premier League campaign the following weekend, away at West Ham.
Tottenham (first half): Friedel, Naughton, Dawson (Fryers 19), Kaboul, Davies, Capoue, Mason, Holtby, Townsend, Kane, Soldado.
Second half: Friedel, Naughton (Fredericks 70), Kaboul, Fryers (Veljkovic 77), Rose, Capoue (Sandro 70), Bentaleb, Lennon, Lamela, Eriksen, Adebayor
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs