It was Atletico Madrid’s first visit to Melbourne and they opened on a sweet note after defeating Premier League giant Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in front of a 42107 MCG crowd in the third match of the International Champions Cup (ICC).
There was an early scare for Spurs, barely a minute was played and concerns were shown for defender Kieran Trippier after being knocked over by Thomas Partey. However, after sitting out momentarily the 25-year-old soldiered on.
It didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Tottenham and they nearly found themselves in front after just seven minutes when star Christian Eriksen’s shot was parried unconvincingly by Jan Oblak.
Three minutes later, Atletico looked fractured as 19-year-old young gun Josh Onomah’s shot struck the crossbar.
Spurs continued to press when their beautifully crafted move between newcomer Vincent Janssen and Erik Lamela nearly resulted in a goal, but the Argentinians shot violently cannoned off the post.
Despite the dominance displayed by Tottenham, it was Atletico who opened the scoring with just five minutes remaining in the first term, Gabi’s free kick forced a poor touch from Anton Walkes and was calmly knocked home by Diego Godin.
The game looked a lot more even in the second half and Tottenham remained strong even though they were behind. On the hour mark Ryan Mason was dumbfounded after his bulleted shot was beaten away Oblak to keep them scoreless.
Just a minute later a clumsy tackle by Gabi saw Mason go down on the edge of the box and it gave Janssen the chance to score his first goal for Spurs. The Dane curved his free kick low around the wall, but once again Oblak was there to tip it wide.
The Slovenian nearly had his hard work undone at the 68th minute after a poor clearance landed right into the path of Tom Carroll, but he couldn’t capitalise.
On the other end Saul had the chance to kill off the game with 15 minutes remaining with a free kick sailing wide of goal.
With a minute remaining Amath Ndiaye Diedhou should have put the game beyond all doubt when he only had Luke McGee to beat, but sprayed it.
It didn’t matter as the boys from the Spanish capital managed to contain the North Londoners to continue their pre-season rituals.
Atletico now look forward to Sunday where they face A-League side Melbourne Victory in Geelong at Simmonds Stadium.