Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Antonio Conte warned to ‘never play Tottenham duo together again’ after ‘lucky’ Bournemouth win

Antonio Conte Tottenham v Frankfurt

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has been warned that he should ‘never’ play two defensive stars together in the same side again after Saturday’s 3-2 win at Bournemouth.

Conte rotated his side ahead of Tuesday night’s huge Champions League clash at Marseille, with Eric Dier and Rodrigo Bentancur both rested while Cristian Romero was not in the squad at all.

The Italian opted to start Davinson Sanchez, Clement Lenglet and Ben Davies in his back three. And the trio struggled to cope with the aerial dominance and physicality of Kieffer Moore and Dominic Solanke as the home side built a deserved two-goal lead.

However, Ryan Sessessgnon pulled a goal back before Davies and Bentancur secured an excellent comeback win.

Former Spurs defender Ramon Vega voiced major concerns over the victory though. And he hopes he does not see Sanchez and Emerson Royal lining up on the right side of the Tottenham defence together ever again.

Tweeting after the triumph on the south coast, Vega said: “Let’s just say lucky to have these 3 points today! Finally, some subs happened in the second half to get this win.

“Emerson and Sanchez should never play together. We can cope with one of them but not both on the field at the same time.”

Sanchez often struggles when asked to come in for one-off games. Emerson, meanwhile, was outmuscled for the ball when Moore powered home his header for Bournemouth’s second.

Former Spurs striker Gary Lineker, meanwhile, believes Conte‘s mini-crisis is now over after the win.

Conte needs to rethink defensive changes

Even though Antonio Conte will claim his hands are tied due to the number of games Tottenham are playing, his team selection almost cost them the game.

Bournemouth were always going to start the 6ft 5in Moore up front. Especially given that Dominic Solanke was carrying a slight knock going into the game.

So to rest Dier, his most commanding centre-back in the air – especially with Romero unavailable – was a disaster waiting to happen.

Moore and Solanke dominated Tottenham’s back three and made Bournemouth’s game plan even simpler. Get balls in the box and you will have plenty of success.

It was only when the Cherries sat off to protect their lead, and Spurs started to dominate the ball more, that the aerial threat abated.

Dier was also introduced for Sanchez just before the hour mark to give Tottenham more presence in both boxes. And it clearly worked as the equaliser and eventual winner both came from corners.

Conte will, however, revert to his strongest side when Spurs face Marseille on Tuesday night.

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