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Match report: Vitesse 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Tottenham Hotspur succumbed to a defeat against Vitesse at the GelreDome. The GelreDome (credit Arnhemcity12/Wikimedia Commons) Tottenham Hotspur were beaten by Vitesse in the Europa Conference League. In a game of few clear-cut opportunities, Maximilian Wittek’s second-half strike secured the victory for the home side. Vitesse created a good chance after just three minutes when […]

Hero for Match report: Vitesse 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0
By Haran Naresh 21 October 2021

Tottenham Hotspur succumbed to a defeat against Vitesse at the GelreDome.

The GelreDome (credit Arnhemcity12/Wikimedia Commons)

Tottenham Hotspur were beaten by Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.

In a game of few clear-cut opportunities, Maximilian Wittek’s second-half strike secured the victory for the home side.

Vitesse created a good chance after just three minutes when Lois Openda played in Nikolai Baden Frederiksen but Spurs goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini quickly came out to make a block.

A corner from Maximilian Wittek reached Eli Dasa, who had peeled out to the edge of the area and he hit an effort that was deflected wide.

Vitesse had strong appeals for a penalty waved away after Bryan Gil appeared to bring down Wittek in the box.

Tottenham were being penned back in the early stages and seemed to be unnerved by the home team’s tenacity.

The visitors started to keep the ball better after a frantic first 15 minutes.

With 22 minutes gone Wittek went on a surging run and had his effort deflected behind.

From the resulting corner Vitesse came close to opening the scoring. Wittek found Jacob Rasmussen at the near post and he flicked a header narrowly wide.

Tottenham could not find fluency going forward and were having attacks break down in the final third.

A corner was cleared out to Gil and he sent a chip over the bar.

Tottenham came out in the second half with a much higher tempo to their play. Giovani Lo Celso went on an excellent run upfield before passing to Gil. The Spaniard took his shot first time and hit the crossbar.

In the 56th minute Spurs wasted a good opportunity on the counter. Lo Celso played in Steven Bergwijn, who advanced towards the penalty area but seemed to be unsure of his next move and lost the ball.

Tottenham gave the ball away high up the pitch and Vitesse countered, with Dasa running forward before firing a shot wide.

Tottenham were starting to get pushed back and were finding it difficult to get out of their own half.

With 68 minutes on the clock Dasa received the ball in space and released a shot that was easily collected by Gollini.

Vitesse sensed that Tottenham were fading and increased their intensity.

Dele Alli collected the ball and drove forward before having a tame effort saved.

Vitesse took the lead in the 78th minute and unsurprisingly their two best performers on the night were involved. Dasa picked out Wittek on the edge of the area and he slammed a half-volley into the net.

Baden Frederiksen hit a speculative shot from a distance well wide.

There was almost no response from Tottenham to the goal. Instead, they seemed to regress as the match went on.

With a completely different eleven playing to the team that started against Newcastle last Sunday, Spurs unsurprisingly struggled to work as a cohesive unit. They were toothless going forward and lacked creativity throughout.

This result currently leaves them in third place in Group G. With two of their remaining three games at home, Tottenham will be confident that they can finish in the top two places and have an opportunity to progress to the next round.

However, this loss has reduced their chances of finishing top of the group. Finishing second will leave them having to play an additional preliminary knockout round.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s decision to leave his first choice eleven at home may not cost him in the Europa Conference League but he will come under scrutiny if Spurs fail to beat West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo speaking in his post-match press conference: “It was a tough match, tough match like we expected. I think we compete well, in terms of attack I think we should finish the actions better. Some combinations were missing.”

“There was a period in the second half when we lost a little bit of control.”

On the decision to not leave any senior players on the bench: “We took a little moment to decide and we decided to bring the players that started with the Under-23s to give us support. We only used Dilan, because we considered only the game required that.”