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2016 International Champions Cup
  • Paulo Dybala (6')
  • Medhi Benatia (14')
  • Erik Lamela (67')

Erik Lamela on target but Tottenham lose to Juventus

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Tottenham Hotspur's preseason trip to Australia started with a 2-1 defeat to Juventus in the International Champions Cup, despite a spirited second half performance in a chilly Melbourne.

Before kickoff, the state of Victoria issued a severe weather warning for expected high winds and an experimental Tottenham side were blown away inside the opening 15 minutes at the MCG.

Substitute Erik Lamela added impetus after the break, halving the deadlock after first half goals from Juve pair Paulo Dybala and Medhi Benatia, but Spurs could find not an equaliser against the Italian champions.

Mauricio Pochettino apologised to supporters on Monday for leaving the the club's Euro 2016 stars, including Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld, in London as the manager named an youthful lineup, with three youngsters joining right-back Kieran Trippier in defence. Will Miller, a 20-year-old midfielder, started at left-back.

It took Juventus less than seven minutes to expose Spurs. Miller sold captain Ryan Mason short, before Dominic Ball, a 20-year-old in the Eric Dier-mould, miscontrolled midway inside his own half, allowing Robert Pereya to pounce. The Argentine rode Cameron Carter-Vickers' weak challenge and fed compatriot Dybala, who fired left-footed past Michel Vorm.

The mistake set Spurs' nerves on edge and Juve soon doubled their lead. Spurs again failed to clear their lines from a corner and the Old Lady's two debutants combined, Benatia calmly planting home Miralem Pjanic's fine cross.

Ball and Carter-Vickers, admittedly not helped by Trippier and Vorm, looked shot to pieces and the former nearly presented Dybala with a gift when the Argentine intercepted his backpass, only to run the ball out of play.

With Spurs unable to transition from defence to attack, lone striker Vincent Janssen cut a frustrated figure up front on his first appearance for his new club but there was no shortage of muscle and bustle from Spurs' other debutant, midfielder Victor Wanyama, who impressed.

Pochettino's side grew in confidence as the half went on, with the lively Miller's penalty appeals waved away shortly after Son Heung-Min headed wide. It was Juve, however, who remained the more menacing, and Dybala and Pjanic, in particular, threatened on the break.

After halftime, Juve seemed content to sit but Lamela, one of seven Spurs changes in total, added energy and end product to their play. The Argentine had a sighter after 55 minutes, firing wide via a deflection after good work from Janssen, and soon after he halved the deficit with a prototype Pochettino goal.

Juve tried to play out from the back but Wanyama won the ball high up the pitch and passed quickly to Lamela, who finished first time -- again low and left-footed. It was a move that suggestion the Kenyan will fit in well at Spurs.

The goal, and the introduction of 17-year-old prodigy Marcus Edwards, put Spurs in the ascendency, and Juve finished the match on the ropes. Edwards -- diminutive with a low centre of gravity and wicked turn of pace -- nearly snuck between Benatia from DeAndre Yedlin's pass and Shayon Harrison, another teenager sub, looked confident.

Lamela, undoubtedly Spurs' man of the match, had a golden chance to take the match to penalties when Edwards and Harrison combined to set him up. Neto made a acrobatic save and the Brazilian was called into action again in stoppage time, when Lamela turned provider for Anton Walkes who forced a brilliant one-handed stop from the goalkeeper.

Juve clung on to win their final match of the International Champions Cup, while Spurs will hope for better luck against Atletico Madrid on Friday back at the MCG.

International Champions Cup Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS