Connections - Italy 4
With this weeks Italian clash we look back at some previous encounters in various parts of the world.
Two quite recently and one in 1985 which UEFA nearly banned.
We traveled to Australia in 1985 where on 1st June we played Udinese. This was the first time clubs from the two countries had met since the disaster at the Heysel Stadium shortly before. UEFA having just imposed a ban on English clubs meeting ones from mainland Europe and the team arrived not knowing if they would be allowed to play. With contracts signed and the possibility of crowd trouble low UEFA allowed the game to go ahead.
The game in the $200,000 tournament in which Spurs had already lost to an Australian Soccer Foundation XI (some sources describe it as Australia B) ended in a 0-2 result in Sydney. The two clubs then met again in the 3rd / 4th place playoff. Mark Falco, Paul Miller and Dave Leaworthy along with an own goal gave us a 4-1 win in Melbourne.
Our latest encounter, before this summer, with an Italian team in European competition came in 2015/6 when we once again met our old friends Fiorentina. This came at the Round of 32 stage in the Europa League competition just as our previous meeting the previous season.
Spurs started well but there were few chances early on then we took the lead when Nacer Chadli scored a penalty after 37 minutes at the Stadio Artemio Franchi after Davies running into the box was pulled down.
They pulled level on the hour with a deflected shot from 30 yards.
Ryan Mason was captain for the night and Spurs had several good chances and a disallowed goal. After their goal they looked hard for a winner but the first leg ended level and Spurs holding the away goal.
The return never saw Tottenham in much danger before Mason gave us the lead after Ali split the defence and Ryan scored with a low shot across the goal to the far post. Both teams had chances and we had another goal disallowed. Then at the hour Eriksen set Chadli free and his shot was saved but Lamela hit the loose ball home. The Italians kept trying but the third goal ten minutes from the end came after Tripper’s cross meant for Ali was met by the defender who could only turn in it. Tottenham winning the tie 4-1.
The summer of 2016 saw us play two Italian sides on different sides of the world. Our first pre-season game came in Australia and Juventus beat us 1-2. Tottenham fielded a very inexperienced team but still had several chances to take the game to a penalty shootout but we had to settle for a consolation from Erik Lamela’s goal after the break.
A week and a half later we found ourselves in Oslo, Norway and facing Inter Milan. An early penalty from Kane started the game off well and a great strike from Lamela again sent us in 2-1. After the break Spurs never looked in trouble and added goals from Ali, Kane and first goals for Vincent Janssen and Shayon Harrison.
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