Tottenham have often been dominated in the first half of games this season, leading to some spine tingling comebacks, but also posing some worrying questions.
Losses against Manchester United and Newcastle followed by late comebacks against Sporting, Bournemouth, and Marseille do not paint a picture of consistency for Antonio Conte’s side. Despite this, a consistent theme has plagued Spurs’ matches for much of the season: Conte’s men play the first half of games with a worrying lack of intensity or control.
Tuesday’s Champions League match at Marseille was a prime example of a tale of two halves story for Tottenham. Spurs were dominated in the first half under the bright lights of the Stade Velodrome, enduring an onslaught of Marseille pressure before Chancel Mbemba‘s header opened the scoring just before the break.
Following a half time team talk with some motivating words from Cristian Stellini, Ryan Mason, and Hugo Lloris, Spurs roared back into the game, winning the group with a last second Pierre-Emile Højbjerg winner. After such comeback wins, many have been left to wonder why Conte can’t get his side to play with high intensity for a full 90 minutes.