Tottenham 3-2 Vitesse Arnhem: Player ratings as Antonio Conte era begins

Antonio Conte took charge of his first match as Spurs manager
Antonio Conte took charge of his first match as Spurs manager / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Tottenham secured a 3-2 win in new manager Antonio Conte’s first game charge after they survived a major scare against Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League.

Spurs raced into a 3-0 lead early in the match through Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and an own goal, but Vitesse pulled two goals back before half-time, with Cristian Romero’s red card early in the second half briefly threatening to make it a night to forget.

It took Son just 14 minutes to score the first goal of the Conte era, firing the ball into the far corner following a mini-goalmouth melee after a Lucas shot was saved.

Things got even better for the new Spurs boss a few minutes later when Lucas was put through on goal by Harry Kane and calmly converted his chance. Kane was involved again when it went to 3-0 in under 30 minutes, although the final touch belonged to Vitesse’s Rasmussen.

Having met the players and watched training earlier in the week, Conte only got clearance to officially take charge on Thursday morning. His time to work with the players was therefore limited and, while he changed the system to his tried and tested 3-4-3, the starting XI was almost exactly the same as that which had lost 3-0 to Manchester United at the weekend.

The Italian saw the best and worst of his new team. He has incredibly talented attacking players to work with, as evidence by the early 3-0 lead. But he will need to shake things up defensively because Vitesse were able to so easily get back into the game.

After Rasmussen had pulled one back to make up for his own goal, Matus Bero got another for the visitors before the first half was over. Spurs simply weren’t working hard enough out of possession, something Conte won’t stand for, and Vitesse looked capable of scoring again.

Romero’s dismissal for a second yellow card just before the hour mark piled the pressure on Spurs as Vitesse looked to make their man advantage count. But they survived the pressure and the numbers were evened up later on when Danilho Doekhi was shown a red card of his own.

Vitesse actually ended the match with nine players when goalkeeper Markus Schubert was sent off for handling the ball outside his penalty area, giving Spurs the chance to see the game out.

Tottenham player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Cristian Romero
Cristian Romero lasted 58 minutes before his red card / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Hugo Lloris (GK) - 6/10 - Had to make saves at 3-2 to stop Vitesse equalising early in the second half.

Eric Dier (CB) - 5/10 - Not strong enough in the air when Vitesse pulled the first one back. Will have to fight for his place.

Cristian Romero (CB) - 4/10 - Could be great under Conte but needs to refine his game. Sent off in under an hour with two reckless yellow cards.

Ben Davies (CB) - 5/10 - Operated as both a centre-back and left-back at various stages of the match.

2. Midfielders & wing-backs

Emerson Royal could become a classic Conte wing-back
Emerson Royal could become a classic Conte wing-back / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Emerson Royal (RWB) - 6/10 - No trouble getting forward and provided a good outlet to relieve pressure in the second half.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (CM) - 5/10 - Fine on the ball but needed to be sharper defensively when out of possession.

Oliver Skipp (CM) - 5/10 - Can play better than he did here.

Sergio Reguilon (LWB) - 6/10 - Had to be adaptable as the formation changed more than once following the red card.

3. Forwards

Son Heung-min scored the first goal of the Conte era
Son Heung-min scored the first goal of the Conte era / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Lucas Moura (RW) - 6/10 - Calm and composed finish when he went through on goal to make it 2-0. Sharp to begin with.

Harry Kane (ST) - 6/10 - Involved in the second and third Spurs goals but ended up incredibly isolated once his team was down to 10 players.

Son Heung-min (LW) - 6/10 - Scored the first goal of the Conte era in the early stages and hit the post not long afterwards. Faded from the game.

4. Substitutes

Davinson Sanchez (CB) - 6/10 - Thrown in to add another body at the back. Suffered a cut head only moments after coming on.

Tanguy Ndombele (CM) - 5/10 - Minimal impact.

Harry Winks (CM) - 6/10 - Looked like he was aware of his need to impress the new boss and played with a promising sense of urgency.

Giovani Lo Celso (CM) - 5/10 - Squandered a late chance to make it 4-2.

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