Tottenham suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League
Tottenham’s decision to leave their big guns at home saw them lose 1-0 to Vitesse Arnhem in Group G of Europa Conference League.
Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Cristian Romero and Hugo Lloris did not travel to Holland with Sunday’s clash at West Ham, in mind and a second string were undone by Maximilian Wittek’s 78th-minute strike.
The side Nuno Espirito Santo picked still had nine international players, but they were never really in the game and Bryan Gil’s shot that hit the crossbar early in the second half was their only moment of note.
Last time Tottenham played in Holland they enjoyed one of the most famous nights in their history as Lucas Moura’s hat-trick against Ajax sent them through to the Champions League final.
This time the Johan Cruijff ArenA was nothing but a stop on the trainline between Amsterdam and Arnhem and that Moura miracle must seem a long time ago as Spurs now compete in the third tier of European football.
Nuno has shown the competition respect so far, but made it clear where his priorities lay, leaving the entire XI that played 90 minutes at Newcastle last weekend at home to train ahead of Sunday’s Premier League visit to the Hammers
With the return fixture in a fortnight and then a trip to the weakest team in the competition NS Mura to come, the Portuguese decided that leaving his big guns back in London for this game was a risk worth taking. It was a gamble because this was a big night for Vitesse, who sold out their GelreDome stadium for the first time in seven years.
Vitesse started with intent as Nikolai Baden Frederiksen forced Pierluigi Gollini into a save with his feet after being played in in the third minute and then Jacob Rasmussen flashed a header just wide from a corner.
Nuno Espirito Santo made 11 changes from Sunday’s win at Newcastle. Steven Bergwijn, Ben Davies, Japhet Tanganga and Davinson Sanchez came into the Spurs team which beat NS Mura 5-1 on Matchday 2 in the Europa Conference League.