Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw by Ligue 1 opposition Nice on Wednesday night in their final friendly before the resumption of the Premier League.
Matt Doherty cut in from the left to fire in the opener in the 20th minute but Nice drew level shortly after the break when Antoine Mendy hammered home the loose ball from a corner.
Manager Antonio Conte welcomed a number of returning World Cup players into his squad, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg starting in midfield with bench spots for Son Heung-min, Eric Dier and Ben Davies. Conte revealed before the game some of his players had also been suffering with illness, with Oliver Skipp and Djed Spence both not involved.
In the Nice team were former Premier League stars Kasper Schmeichel, Ross Barkley and Nicolas Pepe, as well as veteran Brazilian defender Dante and 22-year-old centre back Jean-Clair Todibo.
Bryan Gil blazed a volley over with Spurs’ first sight of goal before Barkley drew a save from Fraser Forster at his near post.
Dejan Kulusevski’s audition to become Tottenham’s new free kick taker ended in disappointment as he smashed one into Nice’s wall. The Swede then set up Doherty, but a poor touch saw the chance escape him.
The Irishman made no such mistake on the second occasion. Dejan Kulusevski’s pass escaped Mendy’s feet and found Doherty, who rattled in from close range.
Nice levelled the contest during the early stages of the second half as a corner fell kindly for 18-year-old Mendy to finish into the corner.
Emerson Royal charged forward and brought a save from Schmeichel before Harvey White fired the rebound wide as Son, Dier and Davies all entered the fray.
No winner could be found and Tottenham’s attention will now turn to their Boxing Day clash with Brentford.
They will be without Rodrigo Bentancur and Richarlison for that trip, while there are further doubts over the availability of Hugo Lloris and Cristian Romero, who both played in the World Cup final.
GK: Fraser Forster – 7/10 – Where Hugo Lloris is light and nimble, Fraser Forster is a tad more cumbersome. Filled up the goal and sprawled down low when needed.
CB: Japhet Tanganga – 6/10 – Went on a few adventures from the back with varying success.
CB: Davinson Sanchez – 5/10 – Generally sketchy, under-hitting simple passes and drawing anxious gasps from the minimal crowd.
CB: Clement Lenglet – 6/10 – Had to do a bit of rescue work when his defensive colleagues malfunctioned.
RWB: Emerson Royal – 5/10 – Robust in moments and a picture of confusion in others.
CM: Yves Bissouma – 7/10 – Played a couple of eye-catching cross-field passes. Looked sharp in tight areas.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 7/10 – A few more minutes in the tank for Hojbjerg, whose World Cup campaign with Denmark ended in early disappointment. Typical display before coming off at half time.
LWB: Matt Doherty – 8/10 – Continued his recent goalscoring streak by lashing in at the near post. Should become more involved after Christmas following this good run of form.
RW: Dejan Kulusevski – 7/10 – The clear creative spark in the Spurs attack. His pass ended up finding Doherty for the opener.
ST: Harvey White – 6/10 – Shuffled a bit further forward than the midfielder is used to. Managed a few nice instances of hold-up play and close control. Didn’t get many set-piece opportunities.
LW: Bryan Gil – 6/10 – Fun to watch with his buzzy stride and quick feet. Stabbed one decent opening straight at Schmeichel. Just didn’t deliver any meaningful end product.
Pape Matar Sarr (46′ for Hojbjerg) – 7/10 – Another chance for Spurs fans to watch the midfielder following his exploits in Qatar with Senegal. Broke up play well and distributed nicely.
Ben Davies (66′ for Lenglet) – 6/10 – Made a few underlapping runs as he roamed forward.
Eric Dier (66′ for Sanchez) – 6/10 – More assured than Sanchez during the final 25 minutes.
Son Heung-min (74′ for White) – 6/10 – Almost latched on to a Bissouma through ball but it just escaped him.
Romaine Mundle (74′ for Royal) – 6/10 – Played on the left as Doherty went to the right. One devilish cross almost found a teammate.
Alfie Devine (80′ for Kulusevski) – N/A
Will Lankshear (89 for Gil) – N/A