UEFA Europa Conference League - 2021/22 SeasonMatch press kits
|Vitesse||GelreDome - ArnhemThursday 21 October 2021|
18.45CET (18.45 local time) Group G - Matchday 3
The GelreDome in Arnhem is the venue for one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures of UEFA Europa Conference League Matchday 3 as Vitesse entertain Tottenham Hotspur in Group G.
• Vitesse were beaten 2-1 at home by Rennes on Matchday 2 following an opening 2-0 win in Slovenia against Mura, while Tottenham, who were held 2-2 at Rennes in their first fixture, made a statement of intent in their second, beating Mura 5-1 in London thanks to a quickfire second-half hat-trick from England captain Harry Kane, who had come on as a 59th-minute substitute.
• While this is Vitesse's first UEFA encounter with Tottenham, they have faced English clubs in six previous matches and have yet to score a goal (D1 L5), going down 0-3 away and 0-2 at home in the most recent tie, against Southampton in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
• Spurs have a strong record against Dutch clubs, especially in the Netherlands, where their record is W6 D2 L1, the only defeat occurring in 1974 when they lost the second leg of the UEFA Cup final 2-0 to Feyenoord – and the tie 4-2 on aggregate.
• Tottenham fans have very happy memories, however, of the club's most recent visit to the country, when a second-half Lucas Moura hat-trick enabled Mauricio Pochettino's team to overturn a two-goal deficit in the last minute of added time and dramatically defeat Ajax 3-2 in Amsterdam, thereby winning the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League semi-final on away goals following a 0-1 first-leg loss in London.
• It was also on Dutch soil, in Rotterdam, that Tottenham became the first English winners of a European trophy when they defeated holders Atlético de Madrid 5-1 in the 1963 European Cup Winners' Cup final, Jimmy Greaves scoring two of the goals.
• Vitesse ended the 2020/21 Eredivisie season in fourth place, which earned them a return to Europe after a two-season absence. UEFA Europa League group stage participants once before, in 2017/18, when they finished bottom of a section that pitted them against Lazio, Nice and Zulte Waregem, the Arnhem club are one of three Dutch teams in the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League group stage – the most of any nation.
• Thomas Letsch's side earned their group stage berth with two tight qualifying phase victories over Irish champions Dundalk (2-2 h, 2-1 a) and Belgian heavyweights Anderlecht (3-3 a, 2-1 h). Vitesse have never qualified for springtime European football, reaching the UEFA Cup third round on three occasions.
• Vitesse have lost two of their last six European home matches (W3 D1), having been defeated in every one of the previous five.
• Seventh in last season's Premier League, Tottenham are England's lone entry in the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League, the London club securing their passage to the group stage – and a 12th successive season of autumn participation in Europe – by coming from behind under new manager Nuno Espírito Santo to defeat Paços de Ferreira of his native Portugal in the play-offs (0-1 a, 3-0 h).
• UEFA Champions League runners-up in 2018/19, Spurs reached the round of 16 in last season's UEFA Europa League under another Portuguese manager, José Mourinho, only to be dramatically knocked out by Dinamo Zagreb, losing 3-0 after extra time in the Croatian capital after winning the home leg 2-0.
• Spurs are without a win in three European away fixtures (D1 L2). Their record on the road in UEFA competition since that famous victory at Ajax is W5 D3 L5.
Links and trivia
• Kane's hat-trick against Mura was the first in the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage, making him the competition proper's joint top scorer with three goals alongside FC Copenhagen's Jonas Wind.
• Spurs' Dutch winger Steven Bergwijn scored 31 goals in 149 senior appearances for PSV Eindhoven before moving to the Premier League side in January 2020. He won three Eredivisie titles with the club.
• Vitesse's Riechedly Bazoer and Tottenham's Davinson Sánchez were team-mates at Ajax in 2016/17.
• Romaric Yapi was a Brighton player before he joined Vitesse in 2021 but made only one appearance for the English club.
• Tottenham are one of only two teams in the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage to have won the UEFA Cup; they, like 1970 European Cup winners Feyenoord (Group E), have done so twice.