EPL

Tottenham 1-1 Inter (3-4 on penalties): Spurs end pre-season campaign with shoot-out defeat

By Sports Desk August 04, 2019

Christian Eriksen and Oliver Skipp missed from the spot as Tottenham suffered a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat to Inter after a 1-1 draw on home soil in their final pre-season friendly.

Spurs got the better of Bayern Munich on penalties on Wednesday to win the Audi Cup, but they were second best in Sunday's International Champions Cup clash against Antonio Conte's side.

Inter pegged the hosts back before half-time through new signing Stefano Sensi after Lucas Moura had maintained his impressive form by putting Spurs in front inside the first three minutes.

Neither team could find a winner in a match lacking clear-cut chances and it was Inter – still three weeks away from their first competitive match of 2019-20 – who prevailed 4-3 on penalties in London, Joao Mario converting the winning kick.

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    Dani Ceballos recognises he faces an uncertain future at Arsenal and wants to "be important for my new team".

    Spain midfielder Ceballos is on a season-long loan at the Gunners from Real Madrid, a deal which is due to expire on June 30.

    With nearly all of European football on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen when or even if the season will be finished and what the situation is for players like Ceballos if the campaign heads into July.

    Ceballos has had a hit-and-miss time at Arsenal, missing chunks of the season due to injury, but had worked his way into Mikel Arteta's plans before the Premier League ground to a halt.

    And the 23-year-old is unsure how things will pan out.

    "I finish my contract on June 30 but I would have to [continue to] play for Arsenal [when football returns]. I don't know how [that would work with his loan technically having finished]," he told El Chiringuito de Jugones.

    "It would be irresponsible from my side to talk about my future. The most important thing will be to be important for my new team. 

    "I came to Arsenal to be an important player but in the last month that all disappeared [due to coronavirus stopping football]."

    In January, it was reported Valencia were interested in taking over Ceballos' loan, while he has also been linked with Sevilla.

    However, the latter move is not one that particularly appeals given he used to play for Sevilla's fierce rivals Real Betis.

    "I knew about Valencia's interest in having my services. There was also talk of Sevilla and Betis," he added.

    "When they connect you with these teams it is for a reason. I am very Betis and it would be difficult for me to play for Sevilla. 

    "I would only play for Betis, it is my team and the one that gave me the opportunity to be a footballer. I did not get to speak with Julen Lopetegui to sign for Sevilla."

  • Martinelli, Romero and stars who could emerge for 2021 Copa America Martinelli, Romero and stars who could emerge for 2021 Copa America

    Squads for the upcoming Copa America could look vastly different by the time the tournament comes around following its postponement.

    The latest edition of the competition was scheduled to start in June, but the coronavirus pandemic has seen it pushed back 12 months.

    Some veteran players might now fade from the picture before the Copa America gets under way next year, while other stars will have time to recover from injury.

    There could also be some new faces on the scene, with a host of uncapped prospects given an extra campaign to break through.

    We take a look at five players who might emerge between now and the tournament.

     

    GABRIEL MARTINELLI (BRAZIL)

    Even beyond Neymar, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus and co., Brazil have a wealth of attacking talent.

    Matheus Cunha and Paulinho each starred at this year's CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament and are already plying their trade in the Bundesliga, yet the nation's most outstanding prospect might reside in London.

    Gabriel Martinelli is eligible for both Brazil and Italy, but the Selecao will surely move swiftly to cap-tie the striker.

    Martinelli trained with Brazil last year aged 17 after starring for Ituano, and he has continued to impress in his first season at Arsenal, scoring 10 goals in all competitions.

    Further progress in the coming season would give Tite something to think about.

     

    CRISTIAN ROMERO (ARGENTINA)

    Argentina have long had problems at centre-back, with Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi still a regular at international level.

    However, head coach Lionel Scaloni could soon have greater options to choose from, with younger talents now breaking through.

    Nehuen Perez might well have gone to the 2020 Copa America, having been called up for the first time late last year after promising loan spells away from Atletico Madrid, but he could soon find himself nudged back down the pecking order.

    Cristian Romero appears well-placed to establish himself, having earned a €26million move from Genoa to Juventus at the start of the season, although he returned on loan to his former club, who are enduring a testing campaign.

    With Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci ageing, Romero should get opportunities with Juve next term - and Argentina could soon come calling.

     

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    Uruguay continue to rely on a number of their veterans of previous tournaments, but this will have to change in the coming months and years - especially in attack.

    Luis Suarez faced a race to be fit for the 2020 edition, while Edinson Cavani's club future is in doubt as his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires. Even Cristhian Stuani is now playing in Spain's second tier. All three are 33 years old.

    And Diego Rossi should back himself to be in position to put pressure on that star trio in 12 months' time.

    Rossi left Penarol for Los Angeles FC aged 19 and has proven an instant hit in MLS, scoring 29 goals in 68 regular-season appearances, helping his club win the 2019 Supporters' Shield.

    LAFC general manager John Thorrington has spoken of "significant interest" in Rossi from Europe, and such a move would give the forward a great chance of making the grade for Uruguay.

     

    JORGE CARRASCAL (COLOMBIA)

    Rossi's LAFC team-mates Eddie Segura and Eduard Atuesta both appear set for first Colombia caps, but Jorge Carrascal might now have nudged to the front of that queue.

    A tricky winger who debuted for Millonarios at just 16, Carrascal initially struggled after joining River Plate on loan from Ukraine's Karpaty Lviv last year.

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    Representing his country at youth level for the first time since 2015, the 21-year-old scored in each of his first three games at the Pre-Olympic Tournament and started all seven matches.

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    It might seem a long shot for a player who has yet to feature for Real Madrid's first team and started only twice at the Pre-Olympic Tournament to be playing for Brazil's senior side in just over a year's time.

    But Reinier will have the benefit of 12 months in the limelight at one of the world's biggest clubs.

    After signing from Flamengo for €30m, Reinier netted a brace in just his third Castilla appearance - his final match before the coronavirus crisis intervened.

    The pre-season will be key if the 18-year-old is to get a chance at Madrid in 2020-21, and there is no reason why he could not then do enough to catch Tite's eye.

    Vinicius Junior made a big-money move from Flamengo to Madrid in 2018 and had debuted for Brazil within 12 months of his LaLiga bow. The path is clear.

  • On this day in sport: Sutton's flying start, Louis KO and Hammond's masterclass On this day in sport: Sutton's flying start, Louis KO and Hammond's masterclass

    Chris Sutton was in a hurry on this day in 1995, scoring the fastest goal in Premier League history at that time.

    Six decades earlier, heavyweight great Joe Louis was similarly not looking to waste any time in defence of his world title.

    However, England batsman Wally Hammond found a way to make his work stretch out languidly for hours.

    Let's take a look back at April 1 in sporting history.

     

    1995 – Chris Sutton scores Premier League's fastest goal

    Alan Shearer's prolific strike partnership with Sutton was pivotal in firing Blackburn Rovers to the 1994-95 Premier League title and they combined with aplomb after 12.94 seconds at Goodison Park.

    Shearer nodded a lofted ball down for Sutton, who took a touch before thumping home to set a 2-1 win in motion - making April fools of the home defence.

    Six players have since dipped inside Sutton's best mark. Dwight Yorke did so later that year, while Shearer himself now sits inside a top three headed by Shane Long – the Southampton forward who stunned Watford after 7.69 seconds.

    1938 – Joe Louis knocks out Harry Thomas

    Bigger things lay in wait for Louis, who put away challenger Harry Thomas after two minutes and 50 seconds of round five at Chicago Stadium.

    'The Brown Bomber' had won the heavyweight title the previous June against James Braddock – aka 'The Cinderella Man'.

    Any remaining question marks against Louis' claims for greatness were largely eradicated next time out, when he claimed sweet revenge against Max Schmeling. The German contender stopped Louis in 12 rounds two years earlier, but he was obliterated inside the first session at Yankee Stadium.

     

    1933 – Wally Hammond hits 336

    Even though he was one of Test cricket's great technicians, New Zealand must have been fed up of the sight of Hammond by the end of their 1933 series, where he averaged a scarcely credible 563.

    In the first Test, he made 227 and remarkably went much bigger in Auckland. Hammond's 336 not out featured 10 sixes and was the highest score in Test history at the time.

    His compatriot Len Hutton surpassed the mark with 364 against Australia at The Oval five years later. Hammond's innings remains ninth on Test cricket's all-time list.

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