Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

Match report: Pacos de Ferreira 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Match report by football correspondent Haran Naresh Tottenham Hotspur produced a lacklustre display as they lost to Pacos de Ferreira in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off tie. Lucas Silva’s cool finish on the stroke of half-time was enough for the Portuguese outfit to secure a shock win. Nuno named a completely […]

Tottenham Hotspur produced a lacklustre display as they lost to Pacos de Ferreira in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off tie.

Lucas Silva’s cool finish on the stroke of half-time was enough for the Portuguese outfit to secure a shock win.

Nuno named a completely different 11 to the side that beat Manchester City in the team’s opening Premier League fixture on Sunday.

Summer signings Pierluigi Gollini, Cristian Romero and Bryan Gil were all handed their debuts. There was also a change in formation, with Nuno deploying a 3-4-3 system.

Spurs started brightly, after just three minutes Gil went down the left flank and found Ryan Sessegnon unmarked in the penalty area but the Englishman’s touch was poor and the chance was squandered.

Soon the pattern of the game was set, with Tottenham monopolising possession whilst the hosts were content to get players behind the ball and attack on the counter.

The visitors struggled to find openings against an extremely well-organised side who started to grow in confidence as the game went on.

In the 22nd minute Cameron Carter-Vickers failed to head the ball away amidst pressure from Pacos de Ferreira’s Denilson and ended up fouling the forward.

Denilson started to cause havoc in the Spurs defence, this time forcing Romero to hack a clearance behind for a corner.

The Brazilian then attempted an audacious chip from a long way out but Gollini read his intentions and made a comfortable save.

The home side took the lead in the 44th minute after more poor defending from Tottenham. Nuno Santos played a precise through ball in behind which breached Spurs’ high line and was latched onto by Lucas Silva, who calmly side-footed into the net. Carter-Vickers failed to step out in time and had played Silva onside.

At half-time Nuno took off the anonymous Nile John and brought on Jack Clarke.

In the 51st minute Ryan Sessegnon did well to get to the by-line and deliver a cross into a dangerous area but this was cut out by the Pacos de Ferreira defence.

Spurs were ponderous and slow in their build-up, allowing Pacos de Ferreira to get settled into their shape.

Sessegnon started to get more involved in the game and was found by a long diagonal but was stopped in his tracks as he got close to the box.

The home side defended in numbers and worked tirelessly to shut down Tottenham’s attacks throughout the game.

Meanwhile the Spurs defence had a torrid night, this was summed up by Carter-Vickers making a mess of a clearance under little pressure in the 83rd minute and giving away a free-kick on the edge of the area.

After not creating any chances of note all half, Spurs fashioned a decent opening in injury time when Gil hung up a teasing cross but the on-rushing Maksim Paskotsi was adjudged to have committed a foul as he met the ball.

Tottenham will be bitterly disappointed with their performance and will look to bounce back when they face Nuno’s former side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday.

Spurs will then face Pacos de Ferreira in the second leg of this tie at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next Thursday, as they look to reach the group stage of the inaugural Europa Conference League.

Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo speaking in his post-match press conference: “As a team we were not organised enough. We didn’t play the ball fast enough to break a team that was really compact and didn’t allow too many spaces.”