In an absolute dog of a game, Maximilian Wittek’s fine volley gave Vitesse a well-deserved win, and they now sit second in Uefa Conference League Group G with six points; Rennes lead with seven, while Spurs sit third with four, and now face a fight to progress.
The first half was a dull affair, Vitesse starting at speed but without the quality to create, while Spurs - having changed all 11 who started at Newcastle last weekend - struggled to muster any coherent or threatening possession.
Though Bryan Gil and Giovani Lo Celso tried to get their team going, Vitesse remained the better side, and though a winner looked unlikely, they looked the likelier source of it. And, sure enough, when Eli Dasa clipped a ball to the edge of the box on 78 minutes, Wittek, the most enterprising player on the pitch, cracked home the winner.
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Not that long ago, Dele Alli was Tottenham’s number 10 and an England regular with a penchant for scoring big goals in big games; signing him was the sole piece of advice Alex Ferguson gave Jose Mourinho in his time as Manchester United manager. Since meeting Mourinho, though, he has become miserable and peripheral figure, skulking about the pitch in Nuno’s second XI showing few signs of the ability and attitude that marked him as a future superstar.
With Spurs’ first-choice midfield of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele now looking settled, the time has surely come for Alli to move on. He may need to take a sideways or a backwards step, but at 25 years old, he needs a manager who appreciates him and will play him every week, because his career is getting away from him. He must do whatever it takes to rejuvenate it and him, because he is far too talented to let things slide.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Maximilian Wittek (Vitesse) Scored a terrific late winner to cap a decent overall performance.
Vitesse: Schubert 6, Doekhi 6, Bazoer 7, Rasmussen 7, Dasa 7, Bero 6, Tronstad 6, Wittek 8, Frederiksen 5, Darfalou 5, Openda 6. Subs: Butink 6, Hajek 6, Oroz 6.
Tottenham: Gollini 6, Tanganga 7, Sanchez 6, Rodon 6, Davies 6, Lo Celso 7, Winks 5, Gil 7, Alli 4, Bergwijn 4, Scarlett 4. Subs: Markanday 6.
Vitesse's win was their first ever against an English team.
3’ - Opendo runs at the Spurs defence and slides a reverse pass in behind for Boden Frederiksen. But Gollini is out sharply to block from a tight angle. Consider that a warning.
23’ Wittek curls in superbly and at the near post, Rasmussen is up early and high, flicking just past the unmanned far post. That was very close.
47’ - NOW WE'RE TALKING! Lo Celso weaves forward and squares for Gil, to marches onto the ball to sweep a glorious early shot over Schubert ... and onto the bar! That's by far the best activity we've seen this evening, a low bar but nevertheless.
56’ - Lo Celso is electrifying when he's on and he screeches through midfield, feeding Bergwijn to steam into the box. Can he make it count? Er, no. Instead of making sure to get a shot away, he plays an extra pass, squaring to no one.
64’ - But what's this? Darfalou finds Dasa, who advances, then flings his entire body into a drive that flashes past the near post. Gollini dives for it, but had it covered.
78’ - GOAL! Vitesse 1-0 Spurs (Wittek) Wittek has been the most dangerous player on the pitch and he gets the goal his performance semi-deserves! Openda spreads to Dasa, who has a look and with nothing on the middle, picks out yerman on the edge. He watches the ball onto his laces, swinging through it, and sends a volley fizzing past Gollini, perhaps with the aid of a slight deflection. Have Spurs got anything to give back?
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