Tottenham strikers are warming up after thriller in Milton Keynes
MK Dons 3 Tottenham 5
Tottenham’s strikers are warming up as the big Premier League kick-off approaches, with Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe both finding the net in the last few days.
Defoe scored the third goal in a 3-0 win over Orlando Pirates in the final of the Vodacom Challenge in South Africa, as Spurs won the competition at the weekend.
And last night it was Pavlyuchenko’s turn to get off the mark, with the Russian netting two first-half goals in a thrilling 5-3 win at Milton Keynes Dons.
Seventeen-year-old forward Harry Kane also made a big impression when he replaced Defoe with 15 minutes left, scoring twice to ensure victory for a Spurs XI..
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Vedran Corluka, Danny Rose, David Bentley, Niko Kranjcar, Pavlyuchenko and Defoe all started at Stadium:MK, alongside the likes of Jake Livermore and Andros Townsend.
Kranjcar was the stand-out performer, playing a part in four of the five goals, starting in the ninth minute, when his inch-perfect through-ball put Pavlyuchenko through on goal, and the Russian planted the ball into the top corner.
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The same combination doubled the lead 10 minutes before the break, with Pavlyuchenko lashing home from an acute angle, to give Spurs a 2-0 half-time lead.
The Dons hit back two minutes after the break as Luke Chadwick curled the ball past David Button from 25 yards, and the home side equalised with 17 minutes left to set up a barnstorming finish to the contest.
Kane replaced Defoe in the 75th minute and, within five minutes, he was on the scoresheet, tapping home after Kranjcar’s shot had been saved.
Two minutes later the Croatian registered himself with a stunning, dipping 35-yard volley to make it 4-2.
And, although the Dons struck back again within a minute, Kane’s second goal finally put the match beyond the hosts.
Another Spurs XI side will travel across London to take on Leyton Orient on Friday night – and Tottenham’s first-team squad will head down to Brighton & Hove Albion the following day to mark the official opening of the Seagulls’ new ground, the American Express Community Stadium, on Saturday.
Brighton, who won League One last season to secure promotion to the Championship, are managed by Tottenham’s former midfielder and coach Gus Poyet.
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs