TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR   3  (3)  VITESSE ARNHEM   2  (2) 
Date : –  4th November 2021 Kick off : –  20.00
Competition : –  Europa Conference Group G Venue : –  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 
Crowd : –  ,
Referee : –  Marco di Bello (ITA) Linesmen : – Alessandro Costanzo (ITA); Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Fourth official : –  Rosario Abisso
Weather : –  Clear, dry, cold
Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end
Playing time : –   90 + 6 minutes

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VITESSE ARNHEM
GOAL-SCORERS
    Son  13m 56s   Rasmussen  31m 20s
    Moura  21m 24s   Bero  38m 09s
    Rasmussen (o.g.)  27m 51s  
CARDS
  Romero  (foul on Gboho)  37   Buitink  (foul on)  63
       Danilho  (foul on Sanchez)  76
      Bazoer  (foul on Kane)  80
  Romero  (second yellow – foul on Openda)  59   Danilho  (second yellow – foul on Kane)  81
    Schubert  (handball outside area)  85

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VITESSE ARNHEM
1.   Hugo LLORIS (c) 1.   Markus SCHUBERT 
     
4.   Cristian ROMERO  3.   DANILHO Doekhi  (c) 
15.   Eric DIER 10.   Riechedly BAZOER   
33.   Ben DAVIES 6.   Jacob RASMUSSEN    (o.g.)
  
12.   Emerson ROYAL 2.   Eli DASA
29.   Oliver SKIPP  (  8.  Harry WINKS  73) 21.   Matus BERO 
5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG  ( 18.  Giovani LO CELSO  87) 8.   Sondre TRONSTAD  ( 16.  Alois Dominik OROZ  90)  
3.   Sergio REGUILON 32   Maximilian WITTEK
  
27.   Lucas MOURA    (6.  Davinson SANCHEZ) 11.   Nikolai Baden FREDRIKSEN  (  9.  Oussama DARFALOU  74)  
10.   Harry KANE 29.   Thomas BUITINK     ( 24.  Jeroen HOUWEN  86)  
7.   Heung-Min SON    ( 28.  Tanguy NDOMBELE  72) 20.   Yann GBOHO  (  7.  Lois OPENDA  46)  
Substitutes Substitutes
22.   Pierluigi GOLLINI 48.   Nigel van HAVEREN
40.   Brandon AUSTIN 18.   Tomas HAJEK
2.   Matt DOHERTY 19.   Julian VONMOOS
25.   Japhet TANGANGA 22.   Toni DOMGJONI
14.   Joe RODON 27.   Romaric YAPI
20.   DELE Alli 36.   Patrick VREOGH
23.   Steven BERGWIJN 39.   Enzo CORNELISSE
44.   Dane SCARLETT 40.   Daan HUISMAN
   

 

Manager : –   Nuno Espirito Santo Manager : –  Thomas Letsch
Kit Supplier : –  Nike Kit Supplier : –  Nike
Shirt Sponsor : –  AIA Shirt Sponsor : –  etoro
Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  cinch Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : –  Burger Zoo
Colours : – Colours : –

[played in black shorts and socks

Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website

 

MATCH REPORT
Five goals; three red cards; crowd trouble; pitch invaders and a 3-2 win for Spurs saw a return to the topsy-turvy world of watching our club.  With a new manager in place and things seemed to have changed very quickly after racing into a 30 minute 3-0 lead before letting Vitesse back into it with two goals inside ten minutes to make for a nerve-jangling final 50 minutes that thankfully passed without goals, although three players were dismissed as Tottenham hung on to secure the victory that takes them into second place in the group, with leaders Rennes still to visit the THS.

Antonio Conte must be wondering what he has let himself in for, as he took to the dug-out for the first time as Spurs Head Coach, but putting out a first team, he must have been impressed with the first half hour, with the team starting with energy and purpose.

Spurs could have been a goal up within 90 seconds of the start with Spurs winning the ball from a Vitesse goal-kick and Romero finding Son in the right side of the box.  He took a touch to get the ball out of his feet and shot right-footed under the advancing keeper, but Schubert must have got a touch on it that allowed Bazoer to slide in and clear the ball before it got to the goal-line.  Tottenham were moving the ball much quicker than in the last few games and it was pulling the Vitesse defenders all over the place.  After another neat series of passes, Moura just over-hit a pass that would have put Kane in the clear.

The noisy Vitesse fans were jumping up and down, even if they only half-filled their allotted space and as their side pressed Spurs, they thought they were in with a chance when Fredriksen was set-up by Gboho, but from the edge of the box, he dragged his shot a couple of feet wide.  They got closer when Buitink played the ball for Wittek to come in off the left and rapped a shot that flew into the side-netting.  However, with thirteen minutes gone, Hojbjerg looked as though he had picked the wrong option by playing the ball against the Vitesse man in front of him, but he got the rebound and slid Moura through just outside the area.  Moving just right of the goal he shot low and the keeper saved, but the ball ran loose with Harry Kane prowling.  Schubert recovered and knocked the ball away to his left while still on the floor, with it coming off Bazour, who was also on the floor, but the ball ran to Heung-Min Son, wider inside the box on the Spurs right and he showed great composure to shoot low right-footed past the keeper at his near post and Dasa on the line to give Spurs the lead.  It continues the long line of “first” goals he has scored, making him the opening goal-scorer for the last three Spurs managers, but the importance of the opening goal cannot be under-stated after the lack of shots on target we have had over the last few matches.

There was an element of relief among the Spurs crowd too, as it sunk in that we were in the lead, but danger lurked and Danilho put a header from a free-kick over the bar after he had out-jumped Romero and then Hojbjerg had to block a Bero effort with his back.  Spurs were also going close at the other end, when Kane spread the ball left for Reguilon to put in a low cross, which somehow found it’s way to Son at the near post and he took the ball under control and struck the post with his shot.  Not that it mattered, as a ball played up to Lucas Moura on the halfway line was turned around the corner to Kane on the right, who played a return pass inside to put Lucas through beyond the square back line of Vitesse and he got to the penalty area before slipping the ball between the keeper’s legs as he came out to him for a 2-0 score-line to Spurs after 22 minutes.  Such was the speed of the break that he could have either played the ball left to Son or right to Royal, both of whom were up alongside him in the area.

In his new wing-back role, Emerson was pushing forward and seemingly enjoying the freedom it offered, but Conte was consistently in Reguilon’s ear about how he wanted him to play.  The away section became the source of attention, as Vitesse fans tried to break into the Spurs section and then the executive boxes behind them, chased by stewards at first and then a large number of Police, who came into the stadium from outside.  With flares being let off, I am sure that Spurs will be set for a UEFA fine, especially as two idiots ran on the pitch towards the end of the match.

On the pitch it was almost 3-0 as Son was played through, but flagged offside, which must have been marginal at the most and without VAR, it was brought back.  However, it in the 38th minute, Spurs did go 3-0 up when Reguilon played the ball inside from the left wing and Ben Davies popped up inside the box, taking the ball to the left of the goal, but getting a shot away.  It wasn’t on target and bobbled across the six-yard box where Harry Kane was onto it, a couple of feet out from the line.  Rasmussen challenged him as he tried to get contact on the ball, but only managed to slide with the ball towards his own goal-line.  He managed to scoop the ball out, up onto the ball, with it then hitting the keeper’s head, going up onto the bar, off the keeper on the head again and out.  To give the referee some credit, he was right on the spot and gave the goal amidst the crazy scramble that had taken place !

So, it was all looking plain sailing and it was surely just a question of how many.  Well, not quite so plain sailing, as Vitesse suddenly woke up.  Hugo made what was the first of a number of vital saves when a corner fell to Tronstad at the far post and he drove a rising shot that Lloris had to tip over the bar, which brought two more corners, the second of which was won in the air against Dier, as players fell around him and he headed it down to Lloris’ left to bring the score back to 3-1. 

Romero got booked for a needless foul on Gboho in the middle of the pitch and you felt that the next goal was going to be important.  Spurs were happy to trick their way out of a press in their own right hand corner, with Emerson Royal nut-megging a Vitesse player, but the ball didn’t get properly cleared and when it cam back into that area, Moura gave it straight to Gboho, who slipped the ball inside him from their left wing and Bero, inside the area, stroked the ball between Dier’s legs and beyond Lloris to nestle in the keeper’s bottom left hand corner.  Suddenly Vitesse were given a way back into the game at 2-3 and having built a solid base, Spurs had given them two goals without too much trouble.

It was crucial that Spurs could negotiate the remaining six minutes before half-time, so that they could get instruction at the break.  Had Nuno been in charge, I am not sure what would have happened in the interval, but you feel that Conte would make what he wanted very clear.  He didn’t make any half-time changes, but Vitesse replaced Gboho with Openda, who almost made an immediate impact, taking the ball off Skipp after some loose control and then hitting a shot that, luckily for Spurs, went away from goal.  The Tottenham passing wasn’t finding their target and this gave Vitesse the boost they needed to go forward and put pressure on the Spurs goal.  Hugo had to repeat his save of the first half to stop Openda’s shot finding the top corner as he cut in from the right wing to hit a left-foot shot that the keeper pushed over.  Again, a couple of corners were conceded before a free-kick for a foul in the box by Vitesse relieved the pressure.   

Regilon fired a low shot at goal that was blocked on the edge of the box and when Vitesse got possession they played the ball up the left wing, where Romero had got too tight to Openda and as he was turned, he grabbed the Vitesse sub and dragged him to the floor.  Having already been booked, it was clear that this would be his second, seeing him sent off and leaving Spurs to play half an hour with ten men against a side who looked like they fancied getting something from the game.  The foul was unnecessary, in an area that was a long way from goal, as Royal was covering behind him, but he was committed to it.  The referee was getting a taste for getting his cards out with Buitink getting booked shortly afterwards for a clumsy foul on Royal.

A corner from Vitesse was only cleared as far as Dasa on their right and he delivered a full-back’s shot, firing it high over the bar from outside the area, then Wittek, who scored a worldie in the first game, turned on the 18 yard line, but didn’t fully connect with a shot that was straight at Hugo.  The same player then hit Dier with another effort, but it took most of the sting out of the shot and Lloris gather it without much trouble.  He made a much better save to turn Bazoer’s 25-yarder around the post, diving to his right and pushing it away one-handed.  The corner led to a series of Vitesse shots that were charged down before the ball went out for another corner, allowing Conte to bring on fresh legs in the shape of Sanchez, Ndombele and Winks for Moura, Son and Skipp, but it still left Tottenham with the problem of an out ball, as the least fifteen minutes had seen the ball consistently coming straight back when it had been cleared or played up to an out-numbered Kane.

When the corner came in, it won another and again, a free-kick helped Spurs stop the pressure, but Danilho had tried to donkey kick the ball and instead got Davinson Sanchez’s head, cutting it in the process, so Spurs were down to nine men and Danilho went in the book for the foul.  There was along break while the referee looked as though he was waiting for Sanchez to get patched up on the side-line, but then he moved him off the pitch and played on.  Spurs managed to hold the ball until Ndombele was fouled and then Sanchez could return to the pitch.  Bazoer finally got booked in a game and two-thirds against Spurs, so when Lloris kicked long at a free-kick and Vitesse won the header, Sanchez got highest ten yards inside his own half to head the ball back where it had come from.  The ball bounced over a Vitesse player and then over Danilho, with Kane reading it and looking to get away.  The Vitesse captain dragged him down as he broke out of the centre circle and having dismissed Romero for the same offence after already being on a yellow, the same punishment was meted out to Danilho and despite a long spell laying on the ground and then remonstrating with the ref, he had to go.  With nine minutes left, it was 10 v 10.

Spurs suddenly looked more settled, with Ndombele controlling the play.  A nice, incisive passing move freed Royal on the right and Schubert, who had looked ragged all night, rushed way out of his area as the Brazilian tried to lob the ball over him at the unprotected goal.  As it was Schubert spread himself and immediately, the linesman flagged, the ref pulled out a red and we were now 10 v 9.  He argued his case, but there was no point.  Vitesse took off a striker for the sub keeper and Conte sensed that this was the opportunity to kill the game, bringing on Lo Celso for Hojbjerg.

Two corners and a free-kick kept the ball away from the Spurs goal, but it was easier to win and keep the ball now with the man advantage and when Ndombele turned away form two yellow shirts, playing Gio in on goal, he really should have finished it by finding the net, but the reserve keeper van Houwen managed to push it away for a corner.  Spurs then won another corner and a free-kick in the corner to eat up time, before both Winks and Lo Celso had shots blocked as Tottenham saw out the match at the Vitesse end.  Two people ran on the pitch shortly before the final whistle from the West Stand and then a little kid after the match was over, with stewards chasing him before Kane and Lloris took him down the tunnel.  There had been a fair amount of abuse for stewards where we were sitting, as they were standing blocking the view of those who had paid to get in and then one of them stood there taking a 360 of the ground !  Easy money for them, while those stewards who had to face the Vitesse fans certainly earned their money.

The match was a microcosm of where Spurs are at now.  Confident in going 3-0 ahead, but then over-confident in letting the Dutch side back into the match and having to hang on for the win.  Thanks to Hugo, the points were secured, but we should noy be giving him that much work to do and against a side who aren’t one of the top ones in the competition.  There’s only a day’s prep before the squad travel to Everton, who will be looking to bounce back after two embarrassing defeats and it will be more of an indication as to where the team are after our own losses.  

Grayling Barraclough

 

MATCH NOTES

 

OTHER RESULTS
GROUP A
Maccabi Tel-Aviv  (ISR) 3 HJK Helsinki (FIN) 0
LASK  (AUS) 2 Alashkert  (ARM) 0
GROUP B
Flora Tallin  (EST) 2 Anorthosis Famagusta  (CYP) 2
KAA Gent  (BEL) 1 Partizan Belgrade  (SER) 1
GROUP C
AS Roma  (ITA) 2 Bodo/Glimt  (NOR) 2
Zorya Luhansk  (UKR) 2 CSKA Sofia  (BUL) 0
GROUP D
Randers FC  (DEN) 2 FK Jablonec  (CZE) 2
AZ Alkmaar  (HOL) 2 CFR Cluj  (ROM) 0
GROUP E
Slavia Prague  (CZE) 1 Maccabi Haifa  (ISR) 0
1. FC Union Berlin  (GER) 1 Feyenoord  (HOL) 2
GROUP F
Lincoln Red Imps  (GIB) 1 Slovan Bratislava  (SVK) 4
PAOK Salonika  (GRE) 1 FC Copenhagen  (DEN) 2
GROUP G
Stade Rennais (FRA) 1 NS Mura  (SVN) 0
GROUP H
Kairat Almaty  (KAZ) 1 Qarabag  (AZE) 2
Omonia Nicosia FC  (CYP) 1 FC Basel  (SWI) 1

 

Europa Conference League – Group G

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points Goal difference
1 Rennes 4 3 1 0 7 4 10 +3
2 Tottenham Hotspur 4 2 1 0 10 6 7 +4
3 Vitesse Arnhem 4 2 0 2 6 5 6 +1
4 NS Mura 4 0 0 4 2 10 0 -8