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Pre-Season Friendly: Tottenham 1 Espanyol 1

10 August 2013 20:54

A debut goal from Roberto Soldado was not enough to give Tottenham victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Espanyol at White Hart Lane.

Spain international Soldado kept his cool to convert a first-half penalty after Danny Rose had been fouled in the area, but the Premier League side were pegged back a minute before half-time when David Lopez headed home a Pizzi corner.

Andre Villas-Boas' side had the majority of possession, but they were unable to find a winning goal and looked to be missing the creative spark of Gareth Bale, who was once again absent from the side with an apparent injury, as speculation over his possible move to Real Madrid continues to grow.

Villas-Boas handed starts to all of his close-season signings, with Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Soldado all featuring - although Bale was once again missing with a foot problem.

The Tottenham supporters were on their feet as early as the fifth minute when Paulinho met Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick, but their celebrations were curtailed as the assistant flagged for offside.

Soldado's first meaningful action came in the 18th minute when he met a Sigurdsson free-kick, only to see his header fly narrowly wide of the post.

Against the run of play, Tottenham almost found themselves behind when Lopez met Juan Fuentes' corner with a header soon after, but Hugo Lloris safely clutched the ball.

They responded in the best possible fashion, breaking the deadlock in the 28th minute when Rose burst into the area on the left-hand side only to be brought down by Fuentes. Soldado took ownership of the spot-kick and fired his effort beyond Kiko Casilla to open his Tottenham account.

The hosts continued to press, but they were pegged back shortly before the break when Pizzi swung in a corner to the near post where Lopez headed powerfully beyond Lloris.

It was perhaps harsh on Villas-Boas' side, who introduced Younes Kaboul as a half-time substitute to make his first appearance since August 2012 in a bid to inject some urgency.

The second half opened in mundane fashion, with both sides pressing without creating chances of note.

Moussa Dembele's effort from 25 yards in the 66th minute was one of the few to trouble either goalkeeper, as it sailed just wide.

Two minutes later, though, Tottenham were nearly undone from a corner once again when Diego Colotto headed Fuentes' delivery fractionally over the crossbar.

Andros Townsend almost secured victory for the hosts with 12 minutes remaining when he fizzed a shot wide from outside the area, but Tottenham were unable to produce a winner.

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Saturday 19 April

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Primera División table

# Team MP D P
8 34 +0 45
9 34 -11 41
10 34 -6 41
11 34 -11 40
12 34 -29 40

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