Spurs suffer defeat on the road in Slovenia

It was a night to forget for Tottenham Hotspur and new boss Antonio Conte as NS Mura pulled off a shocking last-minute goal to claim all three points.

The Maribor side are the lowest-ranked team in the Europa Conference League and are ranked 341st in the continent by UEFA.

Ryan Sessegnon’s dismissal shortly after the 30-minute mark left the Lilywhites a man down for the majority of the game. Heading into the game off the back of four straight defeats on the bounce, Amadej Marosa clinched the winning goal in extra time to claim Mura’s first points in Group G.

Tottenham Hotspur still occupy the 2nd qualifying spot. However they are on equal points with 3rd placed Vitesse. Both clubs are on 7 points. This means that Spurs will likely have to defeat group leaders Rennes at home in December to qualify.

A tough night for Tottenham

It was a slow start to the game and it was up to the hosts to open the scoring. The first goal came in the 11th minute of the match courtesy of Tomi Horvat. Horvat capitalised on an unfortunate slip from Davinson Sanchez that allowed the space for the Mura striker to curl his effort behind Gollini.

Dele Alli had a particularly poor evening. In an attacking lineup alongside Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele, Tottenham had enough creativity and firepower to cause some real damage to their Slovenian counterparts. They hurt themselves in the 32nd minute when Ryan Sessegnon was shown a red card. Sessegnon was eager to stake his place in the starting XI under Antonio Conte but was instead shown two yellow cards for clumsy challenges.

Harry Kane almost equalised shortly after but shot narrowly wide.

Clearly disgruntled with the first half offerings, Conte made a number of substitutions early in the second half and added some firepower in the form of Heung-Min Son, Lucas Mura, Eric Dier, and Ben Davies. Son seemed to make an immediate impact for Tottenham displaying his attacking prowess by rounding a few defenders before forcing a decent save from Matko Obradovic.

Kane should have equalised from the corner that followed with a free header in the box. However, the England forward drilled the header straight down the throat of the Mura keeper.

The equaliser did come from Harry Kane in the 72nd minute of play. Kane executed a nice shot successfully after receiving a pass from Lucas Moura that split the opposing defence apart.

Tottenham raised the tempo in their efforts to secure a winner but it just wasn’t their night. Instead, it was NS Mura, a club only formed in 2012, that clinched it at the depth. Marosa had a deflected shot loop over Gollini and the crowd simply went wild.

Tottenham must beat Rennes at home

This defeat puts pressure on Spurs to get a win against Rennes at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Thursday 9th December. The teams drew 2-2 when they met in France back in September.

Rennes are currently on a 12 game unbeaten streak in all competitions, including a convincing 2-0 win over PSG. They currently sit top of the Euorpa Conference League table and 3rd in Ligue 1. This will be no easy feat for Spurs. As the final game in Group G, this is one simply all Spurs fans must watch.

The Spurs starting XI

GK

P. Gollini

DEF

J. Tanganga
J. Rodon
D. Sánchez
M. Doherty

MDF

T. NDombele
O. Skipp
R. Sessegnon
B. Gil
D. Alli

FWD

H. Kane

The manager’s thoughts

After the game, a disgruntled Antonio Conte exclaimed that,

“After three weeks I am starting to understand the situation. It is not simple. At this moment the level at Tottenham is not so high.

“This a bad loss for us. The performance was poor. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us. This is a difficult moment for us. We need the patience to improve, to be good again. We were poor not only technically and tactically but also mentally. It will take time to bring Tottenham back.”

What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?

Tottenham are away at Turf Moor against Burnley this Sunday, 14:00 KO.

After that, it is three home games in a row. Three massive home games that I’m sure Conte will be targeting 9 points for.

First off is Brentford on the 2nd December, then Norwich on the 5th, and then Rennes on the 9th. Three very winnable games that could be the end-of-year push that sets Spurs up for an excellent 2022.