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  • Disappointment as Celtic defeated by Spurs in Finland

    Disappointment as Celtic defeated by Spurs in Finland

    By: Mark Henderson in Finland on 02 Aug, 2014 16:48

  • Friendly

    Olympic Stadium, Helsinki

    Saturday, August 2, 2014



    Lindsay 45


    Kane 5, Soldado 13, Holtby 45 +3, Lamela 61, Eriksen 83, Adebayor 89

    A YOUTHFUL Celtic side were defeated 6-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in Helsinki as the Scottish champions completed their pre-season round of friendlies.

    Early goals from Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado put the English outfit in charge but Jamie Lindsay’s header gave the Hoops hope as half-time approached.

    However, Lewis Holtby restored Spurs’ two-goal cushion before the interval, and then counters from Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor in the second half saw them run out comfortable winners.

    A second yellow card to Efe Ambrose as the clock ticked down saw the Nigerian receive his marching orders and compound the misery for the Bhoys.

    However, for all the young Celtic players who were involved against such top-class opposition this will prove an invaluable experience  in their development, including Kieran Tierney, who made his first top-team appearance.

    Teemu Pukki was bestowed the honour of donning the captain’s armband for Celtic in the homeland. It was a special moment for the Finnish internationalist, who had never skippered a side previously.  

    And the striker was involved in the Hoops’ first foray forward as they made a bright start under the summer sunshine. Liam Henderson and Filip Twardzik were involved as the ball was worked to Pukki in the box. His backheel was chipped back across goal and unfortunately it was just out of reach of the Jamie Lindsay.

    However, in the fifth minute they found themselves trailing as the Lilywhites opened the scoring with a slick and clinical counter attack.

    English internationalist Andros Towsend used his pace to evade the clutches of John Herron and his cutback was thumped home by Kane.

    Maurico Pochettino had selected a strong side packed with experienced international stars, including Spaniard Soldado and he quickly doubled the advantage, despite the best attempts of Craig Gordon.

    A slick, incisive passing move through the middle sent Holtby scurrying into space and he unselfishly picked out Soldado. His first attempt was brilliantly saved at point-blank range by the Celtic shot-stopper but, much to the goalkeeper’s frustration, the forward made no mistake from the rebound.

    While the Bhoys were constructing some promising passages of play, they were struggling to find a cutting edge. On the other hand, Tottenham, and their fluid frontline of Holtby, Soldado, Kane and Townsend always looked a threat, with Kane seeing a shot deflected narrowly over after a long period of possession.

    Celtic persevered, however, and Pukki brought a save, albeit a comfortable one, from Brad Friedel after being supplied by Henderson in the 37th minute.

    And just before the break they reduced arrears. Herron cut inside from the right and found Dylan McGeouch with a precise pass. His low drive took a touch off Kyle Naughton and was saved by the legs of Friedel.

    However, McGeouch picked up the loose ball and his chip back across goal was nodded home by Lindsay and the combination of a defender, with Friedel making a desperate effort to keep it out.

    It looked as though Celtic would go in at the break with just the one-goal deficit but the North London side again before the interval.

    Townsend made a blistering run down the left and, although the Hoops defence scrambled back to shut down the winger, the ball was eventually worked back to Etienne Capoue. The French internationalist picked out Holtby in the box, and he rifled into the far corner.

     Spurs rang the changes at the interval, introducing the likes of Adebayor, Eriksen, Lamela and Aaron Lennon, underlining their strength in depth.

    Despite their wealth of attacking talent, they were being contained by the Hoops until a slice of fortune saw them move further ahead.

    A clever turn from Lamela saw him spin away from Ambrose onto his favoured left foot, and his powerful shot deflected off the unfortunate Connor McManus and beyond the helpless Gordon.

    As Pochettino’s side upped the tempo, Adebayor shot over and Eriksen threatened on a mazy run through the middle, before Gordon had to make a quick reaction save from substitute Sandro at his near post.

    And in the closing minutes, the London side inflicted further punishment on the now youthful Celtic side. Clever footwork from Adebayor drew a foul from Ambrose and from the resultant free-kick, Erkiksen curled into the net.

    Adebayor then struck the post from Lennon’s low cross, before the Togolese striker added number six from the penalty spot after Ambrose had adjusted to have fouled Danny Rose in the box.

    Ambrose saw red after picking up second booking in stoppage time but Celtic’s attention will now switch to competitive contests and the crucial UEFA Champions League qualifier against Legia Warsaw on Wednesday night.

    CELTIC (4-3-3) Gordon; Herron, O'Connell (Findlay 81), Ambrose, Twardzik (Waters 71); Lindsay (Fridjonsson 79), Irvine (McManus 52) Henderson; McGeouch, Pukki (Balde 52) McMullan (Tierney 63)

    Not Used: Fasan, Nesbitt

    SPURS (4-3-3) Friedel; Naughton (Fredericks 71) Dawson (Fryers 19) Veljkovic 77), Kaboul, Davies (Rose 46); Mason (Bentaleb 46), Capoue (Sandro 71) Holtby (Eriksen 46); Kane (Lamela 46), Soldado (Adebayor 46), Townsend (Lennon 46)

    Not Used: McGee

    Website Man of the Match: Liam Henderson

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