Tottenham Hotspur will leave Australia winless after succumbing to an Atletico Madrid sucker punch in their International Champions Cup meeting on Friday night, losing 1-0 to Diego Simeone's side.
The Premier League side hit the woodwork twice and forced Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak to work all night in a vastly improved display to their 2-1 midweek loss to Juventus.
Diego Godin scored a first-half winner for Atletico, executing their much-honed gameplan; soak up the pressure and strike.
The Uruguayan centre-back was on hand to tap in Gabi's dinked set piece when Tottenham youngster Anton Walkes played him onside with an unfortunate header.
With the start of the Premier League just a fortnight away, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will benefit greatly from the injection of his first-choice defence, who were spared the trip to Melbourne.
The Argentinian would have been pleased with signs of life in attack; especially a blossoming partnership between Erik Lamela and recent arrival Vincent Janssen.
Janssen was the chief beneficiary of Spurs' more lively showing, perhaps because of Lamela's promotion to the starting eleven.
The pair traded passes and appeared tuned-in to each other, no more so than a 21st minute move that led to Lamela striking the post.
Josh Onomah could also have put Tottenham ahead, lashing the crossbar form a volley when Atletico fluffled their defensive lines.
As halftime loomed, Spurs fell asleep and Godin pounced.
The veteran snuck a glance at the linesman before celebrating with teammates.
A more open second-half brought chances at both ends.
Oblak showed his quality to deny Spurs twice in two minutes; the first from a rasping Ryan Mason half-volley, and the second from Janssen's free kick.
The Slovenian gloveman's reflexes and reach were put to the test spectacularly in front of the 42,107-strong MCG crowd.
But the 23-year-old showed why he deserves the gloves at one of the biggest clubs in the world each time.
Up front, 'Rojiblancos' striker Fernando Torres showed his class, drawing and deceiving Spurs defenders all night.
Substitute Amath Diedhiou twice went close as the minutes ticked down, but one would be enough for Atletico.
They will play Melbourne Victory in another friendly at Geelong's Simonds Stadium on Sunday.