Antonio Conte’s reign as Tottenham manager got off to a winning start against Vitesse Arnhem amid chaotic circumstances in north London.
Antonio Conte took no time to implement his tried and tested 3-4-3 system as Tottenham Hotspur took on the Italian’s direction to secure a hard-fought win in north London. Vitesse Arnhem proved a worthy opponent as the game descended into chaos, involving five goals and three red cards.
Son Heung-min scored the first goal of the Conte era after a goal-mouth scramble around the 14th minute to help his side lead the tie. Things got better for Spurs and worse for Vitesse after Harry Kane put Lucas Moura through on goal to make it 2-0.
Moments later, Kane got involved in another attacking move, although the final touch for the third goal came off Jacob Rasmussen to make it 3-0, with only around 30 minutes of the first half played. However, soon after scoring the own goal, Rasmussen made up for his mistake by pulling one back quickly.
Minutes later, Matus Bero got Vitesse’s second goal to throw the game wide open. Spurs might count themselves lucky as the scoreline remained 3-2 at the break. The second period saw no goals from either side but saw three red cards brandished. Cristian Romero was the first casualty after receiving his second yellow card of the game.
The Argentine’s dismissal gave Vitesse the advantage, and they duly pushed for an equaliser. However, late in the game, Danilho Doekhi was shown a second yellow a few minutes apart from his first caution, and shortly after, when Emerson Royal was clean through from the right flank, Vitesse goalkeeper Markus Schubert was sent off for handling the ball outside the box.
With the advantage of an extra man, Tottenham were able to see the game out and secure the narrow win. The result helped Spurs leapfrog their visitors into second on the Group G table, here’s how Tottenham’s players fared during the 3-2 win over Vitesse.
Hugo Lloris: 7/10
For Lloris, this may not have been the perfect game to start the reign of their new manager, although the Frenchman played his part in keeping his side in the contest. At 3-2, Lloris made a series of stops to deny Vitesse an equaliser. As for the two goals scored by the visitors, he could not have done much about it.
Eric Dier: 4/10
Dier looked uncomfortable in a back three as he struggled to keep aerial balls out. It also resulted in him being culpable for Vitesse’s first goal. The way things have looked lately, Dier might have to compete for his place under Conte, as he seemed to have an easy pass under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Cristian Romero: 4/10
Romero might have disappointed his new manager with two uncharacteristically reckless challenges that eventually got him a red card. Still, for the 60 odd minutes he was on the pitch, the Argentine was decent and showed capabilities of improving under the Italian.
Cristian Romero has received the third red card of his senior career.
🔴 vs Udinese
🔴 vs Inter
🔴 vs Vitesse
His first sending off since April 2019. 😩 pic.twitter.com/Fw1zuzfr3e
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 4, 2021
Ben Davies: 4/10
Davies was entrusted with a hybrid role where he played as a centre-back and a full-back depending on ball progression. After struggling to adapt initially, the Welshman was calm and a composed at executing his task as the game progressed.
Emerson Royal: 6/10
If Thursday’s game was an evidence, then Emerson Royal would have a fantastic role to play under Conte. Much like how Victor Moses operated under the Italian at Chelsea, the Brazilian made similar runs and forays into the opposition box. The Brazilian stuck behind following the Romero’s dismissal.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 5/10
Hojbjerg was his usual self, trying to progress the ball forward, although he showed lapses of concentration at times with his awkward movements off the ball. He should improve and is expected to form an important part of Conte’s system this season.
Oliver Skipp: 4.5/10
Defensively Skipp was decent, but his forward play warranted plenty of questions. He will need a more consistent run of games under Conte to show his class.
Sergio Reguilon: 6/10
Reguilon was not overtly comfortable in the wing-back role. However, he did show flashes of his talent in the position and is surely one of the players about to benefit from Conte’s wing-back system.
Lucas Moura: 6/10
— ALL THINGS TOTTENHAM 🎙 (@All_ThingsTHFC) November 5, 2021
Lucas Moura got a goal for his cause and showed encouraging signs to perform better in the new era. In the first half, he was a threat to the Vitesse defenders but tucked in a bit at the back in the second period after Romero’s sending off.
Harry Kane: 7/10
The entire forward line, including Kane, had a decent impact, although he did not look too lethal when possessing the ball. The England captain played a role in two goals but will particularly get plaudits for his brilliant through ball for Moura’s strike.
Son Heung-min: 6/10
Son began the Conte era in explosive fashion, scoring the first goal and later hitting the post. He faded away as the game went on. One thing that is clear is that the South Korean forward would be the key focal point in attack rather than Kane under the Italian.
3 – Son Heung-min has now scored Tottenham's first goal under each of their last three permanent managers (Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte). Induction. pic.twitter.com/HiSlI2AuAL
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 4, 2021
Davinson Sanchez: 6/10
Conte did not make changes after Romero’s expulsion despite lacking a body at the heart of the Tottenham defence. Sanchez came rather later than anticipated as the manager sensed they were short at the back.
Tanguy Ndombele: 5/10
The Frenchman came on to keep things tight in the midfield, although he barely had an impact.
Harry Winks: 6/10
Winks replaced the tired-looking Skipp as Spurs went about holding on to their lead.
Giovani Lo Celso: 5/10
Lo Celso barely had enough time to have an impact, although the Argentine could have made it 4-2 as he squandered a brilliant late chance to score.