The final game of MK Dons’ pre-season programme saw them lose 3-1 to Spurs as fans returned to stadium mk.
MK Dons had seen Matt O’Riley have an early penalty saved before Heung-Min Son later scooped Spurs in front, with the South Korean superstar having previously had a goal disallowed for offside.
Dele Alli and Lucas Moura then scored in the second half as Spurs took control, although a flying strike from John Freeman did at least earn MK Dons a goal for the home crowd to cheer.
The first game of the new season at stadium mk would see the Dons take on Premier League outfit Spurs in a pre-season friendly, with the Dons welcoming a crowd of just under 16,000 fans in their first game at home following the easing of restrictions.
The Dons team saw new recruits Franco Ravizzoli, Aden Baldwin, Tennai Watson, Mo Eisa, Max Watters and Scott Twine make their home debuts.
While their opponents Spurs were missing some players that were involved in the summer international tournaments, including England captain and birthday boy Harry Kane, they still named a strong starting line-up including the likes of Heung-Min Son, Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and the MK-born former MK Dons star Dele Alli, who returned to Milton Keynes as captain.
After a week where rumours have linked MK Dons boss Russell Martin with the vacant job at Championship side Swansea, Martin would precede the Dons onto the pitch, giving a round of applause to the fans as supporters returned for the first time since December, and the for the first unrestricted crowd since March 2020.
Spurs came close early on when Bergwijn had a curling shot go wide, before MK Dons were handed a great chance from the spot, after Scott Twine was fouled by Spurs keeper Alfie Whiteman.
But from 12 yards, Whiteman responded, guessing right and denying O’Riley, and keeping the score at 0-0.
Son and Bergwijn put efforts off target for the visitors in a lively contest that saw both teams come close, though the Dons’ best chances were either blocked shots or errant crosses.
Dons keeper Ravizzoli denied Serge Reguilon before getting called on again to thwart Bergwijn.
Spurs then did have the ball in the back of the net when Son met Dele’s through pass and lofted a shot past the keeper, but the offside flag interrupted his joy and cancelled the goal.
A few moments later, Son would be more lucky. The attacker raced onto Lucas Moura’s pass before beating Ravizzoli, and this time the goal would stand.
Moura then had a chance blocked by the returning Warren O’Hora, before the Dons came close when Twine’s rasping free-kick had to be tipped wide by Whiteman. Harry Darling would then see a header loop over the top before the break.
Spurs began the second half in a lively manner, with Ravizzoli having to punch away a cross directly before it reached Son, before the Argentine keeper denied the Korean with a similar lobbed finish to his goal.
But the familiar face to MK Dons fans would soon score Spurs’ second. A through-pass released Son, who drew out Ravizzoli before squaring for Dele to roll the ball into the back of the net.
Spurs still had chances for more, with Bergwijn having a strike saved by Ravizzoli, and the keeper also denying Japhet Tanganga, with Dele scoring the rebound from the latter only for an offside flag to deny Spurs a second time.
A flying hit by Twine nearly brought MK Dons back to within one goal, as his free-kick was well saved by Whiteman.
MK Dons made a flurry of changes, using all 10 substitutes on the bench, but they nearly managed a goal in and amidst the alterations, as Brooklyn Ilunga struck one into the side netting after a free-kick caused a scramble in the box.
The game’s momentum fizzled out after all the subs, but Spurs had enough in the tank to swipe a late third, as Moura robbed Harry Darling, ran on goal and beat sub keeper Laurie Walker.
MK Dons responded with a goal, as midfielder Freeman hooked in a looping volley from just inside the box after set-up from Ilunga.
It meant a defeat in the Dons’ final pre-season encounter, as they prepare to start the new season on Saturday with a trip to face Championship side Bournemouth in the opening round of the Carabao Cup.
MK Dons: Ravizzoli (Walker 73) – O’Hora (Lewington 67), Darling, Baldwin (Jules 67) – Watson (Martin 73), O’Riley (Robson 67), Kasumu (Freeman 73), Twine (Morton 73), Harvie (Ilunga 67) – Eisa (Bird 73), Watters (Brown 64)
Goal: Freeman (84)
Spurs: Whiteman – Doherty (Paskotsi 63), Tanganga (Fagan-Walcott 86), Carter-Vickers, Reguilon (Davies 63) – Skipp (Omole 74), John – Lucas (Clarke 82), Dele (White 82), Bergwijn (Parrott 82) – Son (Scarlett 74)
Goal: Son (36), Dele (57), Lucas (82)