Antonio Conte’s first game in charge of Tottenham had five first-half goals, three red cards and a glimpse of the challenge he faces at the London club.
Tottenham held on for a 3-2 home win over Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League on Thursday after nearly giving up a three-goal lead in Conte’s debut. The Italian was appointed Spurs’ new manager following Nuno Espirito Santo’s dismissal on Monday.
Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho also avoided another embarrassment as Roma scored a late equalizer to draw 2-2 at home against Norwegian club Bodø/Glimt — which had routed the Italian club 6-1 at home in the previous round.
Conte seemed to have already given Tottenham a much-needed spark as his team led 3-0 after just 28 minutes, but Vitesse pulled two goals back before halftime. Spurs then had defender Cristian Romero sent off in the 59th and were under pressure until Vitesse had two players red-carded in the final 10 minutes.
Son Heung-min, who scored the first goal of both Jose Mourinho’s and Nuno’s reigns, did the same for Conte in the 14th minute before Lucas Moura and a Jacob Rasmussen own goal seemingly had the hosts in total control.
“It was a crazy game and usually I don’t like these types of games,” Conte said. “For sure we were winning 3-0 and then we conceded two goals that we can avoid and then after a red card we were in trouble. But I think to win is good for this team, it’s good for these players and they need to improve their confidence.”
Tottenham is second in Group G, three points behind Rennes, which beat Mura 1-0.
In Group E, Dutch team Feyenoord beat Union Berlin 2-1 in a game with a heavy police presence after the disturbances in connection with the previous game in Rotterdam. Police made at least 74 arrests in the run-up to the match, which began under a of smoke from flares set off before kickoff by the visiting fans.
LYON, FRANKFURT ADVANCE
Lyon and Eintracht Frankfurt became the first teams to advance to the knockout rounds of the Europa League after both earned victories.
Lyon scored three second-half goals, including two by Islam Slimani, to beat Sparta Prague 3-0 for a fourth straight win in Group A, while Frankfurt defeated Olympiakos 2-1 in Group D.
A late own-goal prevented David Moyes from marking his 1,000th career match as a manager with a victory as West Ham was held to a 2-2 draw by Genk.
It ended West Ham’s perfect record in Group H but Moyes’ team still clinched a spot in the knockout rounds after Dinamo Zagreb beat Rapid Vienna 3-1 in the late game.
Said Benrahma had scored twice as West Ham came from behind to lead 2-1 in in Belgium but substitute Tomas Soucek inadvertently headed a late cross inside the near post to leave the Hammers with just a point.
Napoli boosted its chances of advancing by beating Legia Warsaw 4-1 away, leapfrogging the Polish team to go top in a tough Group C. Jamie Vardy’s penalty miss kept Leicester’s hopes in the balance after a 1-1 draw with Spartak Moscow. Aleksandr Selikhov saved the striker’s second-half spot kick to leave Leicester third in the group, two points behind Napoli.