CARSON, CA - JULY 24: Gareth Bale #9 of the Tottenham Hotspur celebrates his goal by making a heart shape with his hand in the first half during the international friendly match against Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on July 24, 2012 in Carson, California. (Photo by RicTapia/Getty Images)
I felt this was necessary information before I write anything about Tuesday night's friendly between Tottenham Hotspur and the LA Galaxy. Spurs did not look good by any stretch of the imagination, but they weren't supposed to. It's early in preseason, and they'll get better. They did have one great moment of quality, however, that helped them to a 1-1 draw at the Home Depot Center.
Gareth Bale, surprisingly wearing the No. 9 shirt, was the scorer of Tottenham's only goal. In the 17th minute, Gylfi Sigurdsson -- who was playing a makeshift Luka Modric role in a double pivot -- swung in a great deep cross towards the near post. Bale out-jumped his man and powered a great header past Brian Perk to give Tottenham an early lead.
That lead didn't last very long, thanks to some poor defending. Following a broken corner play for the Galaxy in the 29th minute, Marcelo Sarvas set up Hector Jimenez with a great ball out to the right flank, and Jimenez put a low and hard cross through the penalty area. Spurs' back line was asleep at the switch and allowed the unmarked David Junior Lopes to finish off the play, tying the match at 1-1.
The second half was rather uneventful, with the poor finishing more notable than anything else. David Bentley and Sigurdsson both missed very easy chances, while Aaron Lennon had a very good attempt blocked late in the game. The referee was also not interested in giving penalties at either end; Robbie Keane was denied a penalty shout in the first half, while Tottenham could have had two penalties in the second half.
It's almost 1 am on the east coast of the United States where I live, so I certainly don't have the energy for all kinds of extensive analysis right this minute, but we'll be getting into that between Wednesday morning and Saturday's friendly against Liverpool. It was a shaky all-around performance for Tottenham, but Andre Villas-Boas will have gained some information from the friendly and there were some positives to take away from the match for sure.
Also, worth noting: Both Rafael Van der Vaart and Kyle Walker had to leave the match with injuries. Both left under their own power, but were limping noticeably. Van der Vaart came off after just 35 minutes of play, while Walker sustained his injury in the second half. The television broadcast of the game did not have any information on the extent of those injuries, and Tottenham are generally very tight-lipped about their players' injuries. Don't expect to see Walker or Rafa play against Liverpool, and unless there's nothing wrong at all, don't expect to hear the specifics about their injuries for a while.