Indeed, second-half strikes from Fred and Bruno Fernandes proved enough for the home team to take all three points from the fixture – a result that saw the fifth-placed Reds Devils close the gap on third-placed Spurs to just four points.
However, while the loss will undoubtedly have disappointed Conte, it will most certainly be the manner of the defeat that will have left the Italian most concerned, as Tottenham were thoroughly outplayed by Erik ten Hag’s outfit.
Over the course of the 90 minutes, the visitors enjoyed less possession of the ball – 52% to 48% – took fewer shots at goal – 28 to nine – hit the target with fewer attempts – ten to two – created fewer big chances – two to one – and completed fewer passes – 498 to 445 – than the home side.
Although, it was not only the collective display of Spurs that will be a cause for concern for the 53-year-old coach but also the extremely poor individual performances of a number of his first-team regulars – including Yves Bissouma, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Son Heung-min – who all earned dismal match ratings of 4 from Alasdair Gold.
However, it was undoubtedly centre-forward Harry Kane who was the most out of sorts yesterday evening, with the 29-year-old enduring an incredibly uncharacteristic shocker in the Tottenham attack.
Indeed, the £69.5m-rated talent offered his side very little in possession, enjoying just 40 touches of the ball – seven fewer than Hugo Lloris between the Spurs sticks – completing a mere 13 of his 22 attempted passes – a success rate of just 59% – and ceding possession on 20 separate occasions – meaning he lost the ball with every two touches he had on the night.
The England international also lost 64% of his duels up against the impressive Lisandro Martinez – who “pocketed” Kane throughout the fixture – and missed his side’s one big chance in front of goal, with these metrics seeing the £200k-per-week striker earn an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.3 – the worst of any player to feature in the match.
As such, while it is more than likely that this was just an off night for a forward who already has nine league goals to his name this season, it is nevertheless undeniable that Kane was Tottenham’s weakest link on Wednesday – something that cannot be said all that often.