Spurs prepare for Premier return with Nice draw

Tottenham Hotspur v OGC Nice – Friendly Match – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 OGC Nice

Antonio Conte provided a number of his Tottenham Hotspur charges with valuable match practice ahead of the Premier League’s return on Boxing Day as French outfit OGC Nice visited N17 for a specially arranged mid-season friendly fixture.

The Lilywhites had already faced Motherwell and an under-21 team provided by Peterborough United at their Hotspur Way training facility. And although perhaps deemed another low-key fixture, a crowd of just over 9,000 turned out in N17 on the winter solstice.

It took Tottenham twenty-one minutes to break the deadlock. Matt Doherty swept home from ten yards after Nice defender Antoine Mendy failed to cut out Dejan Kulusevski’s reverse pass.

Matt Doherty fired Spurs into a first-half lead against OGC Nice at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Bryan Gil and Yves Bissouma went close to adding a second for the home side. But having largely dominated the opening period, Spurs found themselves pegged back immediately after the restart.

Doherty could only half-clear Dante’s header as far as Mendy, who guided the ball beyond Fraser Forster from the edge of the box.

Former Leicester City stopper, Kasper Schmeichel, produced a superb one-handed save to keep out Kulusevski’s low drive. The keeper then stuck out a boot to deny Emerson Royal, while Harvey White shot wide when following up.

The introduction of Heung-min Son with just over a quarter of an hour remaining drew a warm reaction from the crowd. However, the South Korean was unable to significantly impact his return to North London from World Cup duty.

Tottenham Hotspur returns to Premier League action on Monday, December 26 when they face Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium (12:30pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Forster, Tanganga, Sanchez (Capt) (Dier 66′), Lenglet (Davies 66′), Royal (Mundle 74′), Højbjerg (Sarr 46′), Bissouma, Doherty, Bryan (Lankshear 90′), Kulusevski (Devine 80′), White (Son 74′) Subs not used: Austin, Whiteman (GK), Sessegnon, John, Paskotsi, Cesay, Santiago

Booked: None

Goals: Doherty 21′

OGC Nice: Schmeichel, Mendy (Beka Beka 57′), Todibo, Dante, Bryan (Bard 46′), Boudaoui, Rosario, Thuram-Ulien, Barkley (Ilie 80′), Pépé, Laborde (Brahimi 71′) Subs not used: da Cunha, Bouanani, Boulhendi, Belahyane

Booked: None

Goals: Mendy 47′

Referee: John Brooks

Assistants: Marc Perry and Natalie Aspinall

Fourth Official: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 9,173

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk