Antonio Conte clinched his first Premier League win in charge of Tottenham Hotspur as his side narrowly defeated Leeds United on Sunday evening.
Spurs were perhaps a little fortunate to walk away with all three points, having been largely dominated by the visitors in the first half and still, they did manage more of the ball and recorded more attempts at goal, too.
The victory sees the north Londoners leapfrog Manchester United, who sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier in the day, into seventh place and firmly back into the conversation for European qualification.
Rare second-half goals from midfield enforcer Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and left wing-back Sergio Reguilon sealed the come-from-behind win.
A passionate Conte was absolutely delighted at the full-time whistle, celebrating with all four sections of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as well as every member of the squad.
However, when he has time to reflect and watch back, he may be less than impressed by the performance of Emerson Royal at right wing-back as he struggled for large parts of the encounter.
The Brazilian, signed from Barcelona for £25m in the summer, was skinned and nutmegged by Jack Harrison for Leeds’ opener right before half-time as the former Man City dynamo was given acres of space and time to find Dan James at the back post.
Press Association Sport journalist Jonathan Veal soon tweeted that “Harrison made a mug of Emerson” during that moment and truth be told, that was the story of his game.
Despite registering a whopping seven tackles, three more than any other player, the 22-year-old won just 50% of his 14 duels, both in the air and on the ground, and also lost possession 12 times from 53 touches – once every 4.4 times he had the ball, as per SofaScore.
Emerson received a yellow card for his troubles, too, which only goes to show how big a nightmare he had up against Marcelo Bielsa’s left flank.
Elsewhere, he struggled to contribute in the final third, providing just one accurate cross from four attempts (25%), no key passes or shots, and overall, managed just 19 passes – he usually manages around 32 per game this term.
The Evening Standard were pretty scathing in their review of his performance, claiming that he was ‘skinned by Jack Harrison for Leeds’ goal and failed to make a significant impact in the final third.’
All in all, the £22.5m-rated lightweight endured a tough, tough evening despite the encouraging result.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano drops huge Dele Alli claim at Spurs…