Redknapp left to scratch his head after Rossi's hat-trick

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Villarreal 4

It may have been their first pre-season warm-up back on home soil, designed to give as many players as possible a run-out. But Harry Redknapp must have been relieved last night that it was only a friendly rather than Tottenham's Champions League debut.

After watching a makeshift Spurs side dispatched by Spanish opponents who were classy but hardly world-beaters, Redknapp will be looking for considerably more sharpness and cohesion as he considers how to meet the new Premier League requirement of 25-man squads.

Not too much should be read into last night's error-strewn display since no fewer than eight first-teamers were missing, either rested or nursing long-term injuries or short-term knocks. But as an exercise in building momentum following their recent US tour, there were few signs of encouragement ahead of a campaign that starts against Manchester City on 14 August before that eagerly awaited Champions League qualifier a few days later.

Jermain Defoe was back after his post-World Cup break, along with England colleagues Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson. It would not be fair to single them out but none rose above the mediocrity. Villarreal, who finished seventh in La Liga, may not be among the most illustrious names in Spain but have just won themselves a place in the Europa League at the expense of Mallorca, banned by Uefa due to financial irregularities pending an appeal.

With their European-style 4-1-4-1 formation, they provided a stern test and struck with venom on the counterattack as all good Continental sides do. By half-time, the former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi had given them a two-goal cushion with his still-sweet left foot.

Having already lost Jermaine Jenas through injury, Redknapp made a string of further changes, notably including Giovani Dos Santos. The Mexican, farmed out on loan last season but such a threat for his country at the World Cup, had a point to prove and reduced the deficit on 56 minutes just after Nico Kranjcar's rifling effort was disallowed for offside.

Rossi responded by duly completing his hat-trick and Marco Ruben added a fourth but Redknapp, for whom worrying injuries are already stacking up, refused to chastise his players, instead attacking the schedule. "Villarreal were excellent, far better than us," he said.

"But I didn't want this game, it was far too quick. It's not an excuse but we've just come back from a gruelling trip and everyone is waking up at 3am. The schedule is just crazy. It's pre-season and the last thing we need right now are games. We should be on the training pitch working." Instead, Spurs play Benfica in Lisbon on Tuesday.

Tottenham Hotpsur (4-4-2): Gomes (Button, h-t); Hutton (Walker, h-t), Dawson (Bassong, h-t), Corluka, Naughton (Assou-Ekotto, h-t); Kranjcar (Taarabt, 80), Huddlestone (Parrett, 78), Jenas (Rose, 18), Lennon (Bale, h-t); Keane (Crouch, h-t), Defoe (Giovani, h-t).

Villarreal (4-1-4-1): D Lopez (Oliva); A Lopez (Gaspar), Catala (Castellani, 86), Musacchio (Valero), Oriol; Senna (Ruben); Cani (Montero), Fuster (Kiko), Soriano (Insa, 78), Cazorla (Cristobal); Rossi (Perez, 78).

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil