JOSE MOURINHO got one over his old team as Tottenham ended their pre-season with defeat in Israel.
Spurs were coming up against Roma, managed by their old boss Mourinho, for their final friendly out in Haifa.
Centre-back Roger Ibanez headed home the only goal of what was a feisty game full of tasty tackles and a few fans running on the pitch.
Ivan Perisic impressed in the left wing-back position but overall it was a frustrating night for Antonio Conte’s side a week ahead of their season-opener at home to Southampton.
Conte promised in his pre-match press conference he would give old foe Mourinho a hug and did not disappoint as they embraced before kick-off.
The pair had exchanged a few digs when Mourinho was in charge of Manchester United and Conte was at Chelsea, but there was only mutual respect here – for the most part.
Mourinho was facing Spurs for the first time since being axed as their manager the week before the 2021 League Cup final.
He deployed Nicolo Zaniolo, a player Spurs have looked at as a possible transfer target, along with new-boy Paulo Dybala behind England striker Tammy Abraham.
Zaniolo went down easily in the box early on under a challenge from Cristian Romero but the referee was having none of it.
Spurs had the ball in the back of the net twice in the first half, through Matt Doherty and Harry Kane, but each were ruled out for offside.
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While the best move they put together in the first period saw a quick Kane throw give the ball to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who lifted the ball into the box for Ivan Perisic to nod down and Son Heung-Min to volley over.
But they fell behind just before the half-hour mark, moments after Davinson Sanchez’s brave block had deflated Abraham’s shot wide.
Dybala fired in the resulting corner and there was Ibanez to rise above Perisic and head into the net.
Things got a bit lively when Yves Bissouma went through the back of Abraham and a foul was not given – enraging the Roma players – moments after Abraham himself had clipped Kane’s heels.
Conte responded at the break by bringing on Rodrigo Bentancur and Clement Lenglet.
And it was the French centre-back who almost teed up a leveller as he went on a mazy run and lifted the ball across the box, only for Cristian Romero to head wide.
The game was interrupted twice during the second half when fans invaded the pitch looking in vain for selfies with players.
Roma almost made it 2-0 with 16 minutes to play when Abraham sent Zaniolo clear.
But just as the 23-year-old was about to pull the trigger, Romero came steaming in with a typically full-blooded challenge.
With time running out, Spurs were denied what they considered to be a stonewall penalty when Kane was brought down by Ibanez.
But amazingly a free-kick was given against the England captain, enraging the Spurs players and bench – with Conte and Mourinho exchanging a few choice words over the incident.
Tempers continued to flare when Romero steamed in for another crunching tackle on Lorenzo Pellegrini, who responded furiously and the pair had each other by the throat, resulting in a booking for both.
Mourinho and Spurs’ managing director of football Fabio Paratici were deep in conversation on the touchline over what had been a fiery second half.
And just as they were finishing their chat, Kane missed a great chance to level up at the death, heading over Ryan Sessegnon’s cross.