The Slovenia international was too
strong for Mauricio Pochettino’s men
as he helped power the Spanish side to
victory in the International Champions
Cup tie.
It only took one moment from Jan
Oblak to show the Atletico Madrid
goalkeeper is ready for another strong
season with the Spanish club.
In the 62nd minute of Atletico’s
International Champions Cup clash
against Tottenham in Melbourne on
Friday, new Spurs striker Vincent
Janssen stood over a free-kick on the
edge of the box.
The Dutch centre-forward curled the
ball around Atletico’s wall and must
have been convinced he had scored his
maiden goal for Tottenham.
However, Janssen hadn’t counted on
Oblak, who threw himself to his right
and palmed the ball past his post.
From such close range, it was almost
like a penalty save, and it ensured
Atletico triumphed 1-0 following Diego
Godin’s first-half strike.
“Jan is a very good goalkeeper and
he’s important for our team,” new
Atletico defender Sime Vrsaljko said
After playing understudy to Miguel
Angel Moya in his first campaign with
Atleti, the Slovenia international had a
breakthrough season in 2015-16.
Diego Simeone started the 23-year-old
in every La Liga and Champions
League match as Atleti went close to
winning both competitions.
Oblak notched 32 cleansheets in 51
appearances in all competitions, and
with him between the sticks, Atleti
finished La Liga with the best defensive
record, conceding just 18 goals – 11
fewer than champions Barcelona.
With the Rojiblancos only having
arrived in Australia on Thursday, it was
understandable that Oblak had some
rusty moments but he stood tall when
called upon.
In just the seventh minute, Tottenham
midfielder Christian Eriksen blasted a
shot straight at Oblak and although a
late bobble caused problems, he got
enough on the ball to lift it over the bar.
Oblak also produced a fine save to
deny Ryan Mason’s volley on the hour
mark and even when he fluffed a
clearance eight minutes later, Atleti’s
defenders bailed him out.
If Simeone and Co. are to keep
punching above their weight in
2016-17, Oblak will be critical and the
early signs are good for the Slovenian
and Atletico’s supporters.