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Conte’s reign at Tottenham begins with dramatic win



Antonio Conte's presence in Tottenham seems to have rejuvenated Harry Kane

Antonio Conte says that a “bit of patience” will be required after he was given a highly eventful introduction to life as Tottenham Hotspur’s new manager in their Europa Conference League victory over Vitesse.

In a match that saw Spurs reduced to 10 men and the Dutch Eredivisie side to nine, Spurs threatened to throw away an early three-goal lead before eventually scrambling over the line.

It was a far cry from the organisation and solidity that characterised his title-winning teams at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

“In my opinion and my mind there is a lot of space for improvement for this team, in every single player,” Conte told BT Sport.


“We need to have a bit of patience because we need to work on many aspects – tactically and physically and also the players have to understand what I want.

“I’m not afraid about the work. I know only through the work you can reach important targets.”

The Italian received a warm welcome after succeeding the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo and Spurs looked to be giving Conte the perfect start as they went three goals up inside the first half hour.

Son Heung-min drove home the first goal of the Conte reign after 14 minutes, with Lucas Moura racing clear to add a second eight minutes later. Jacob Rasmussen looked to have put Spurs out of sight when he bundled into his own net under pressure from Harry Kane.


Spurs then displayed their frailties to the new manager as Rasmussen rose to head home from a corner before Matus Bero’s cool finish reduced the deficit further before half-time.

Vitesse were a danger throughout the second half, with home keeper Hugo Lloris saving superbly from substitute Lois Openda and Riechedly Bazoer.

Spurs lost Cristian Romero when he was sent off for a challenge on Openda but Vitesse’s momentum was halted when captain Danilho was shown a second yellow card for hauling down Kane.

Keeper Markus Schubert then quickly followed for handling outside his area as he ran out to clear from Emerson Royal.

At the end of it all, Spurs gave Conte the win he wanted to move them into second place behind Rennes in Group G.


Lots for Conte to consider

Conte will have plenty to ponder and work on after a patchy Spurs performance that started in thrilling style before they ran out of energy in the face of a spirited Vitesse response as the side lying fourth in the Dutch table threatened to overturn that early advantage.

He will have been pleased by the energy and invention shown in those early stages but concerned about how vulnerable Spurs looked when pressure was applied.

Son was a stand-out performer as Spurs looked likely to run riot, but the latter part of the first half and after the break suggested Conte will need to focus on fitness and confidence before Sunday’s visit to Everton.

He selected his favoured three at the back, employing Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies, but Spurs were troubled by the pace of Vitesse, also conceding sloppily from a set-piece when Rasmussen started the Vitesse fightback.


Conte watched intently from the touchline, urging his players on and celebrating goals with the gusto that endeared him so much to Chelsea fans during his highly successful spell at Stamford Bridge.

In the end, the best Conte would have hoped for was a win after only a couple of days at Spurs and at least they delivered that, even if this was a display that still left plenty of question marks.

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