Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte reacts to Chelsea loss and appreciates level of fight his team put up during the game
Speaking in his post-match press conference (h/t football.london), Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte said he was proud of his players and appreciated his team’s effort on the night, despite losing 2-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
This is now the third loss for Spurs against Chelsea in January in as many games, with the side far from their best and coming second best to Thomas Tuchel’s Blues. The German appears to have our number and it was frustrating to watch.
Conte said he was really happy with the effort his players put in last night, and were slowly improving against Chelsea. He admitted that it was very difficult at the moment to face such a strong side.
“I think that in the three games we played against Chelsea today was for me for the effort that I have seen I like it. In the second half of the Carabao Cup we gave a good game. We are improving, also to play against Chelsea. The effort was good, the performance, the attitude, the commitment of my players, I have to be proud. I like what I have seen tonight, despite the defeat. The defeat hurts me a lot.”
Conte painfully admitted that his side were not up to the level of their London rivals, claiming Chelsea were on a different level altogether after the Italian faced a third loss to them in 14 days. The Spurs boss said that these successive losses against his former club only prove that they are stronger than his side, both as a team and as a squad.
There were very few chances for either side in the first half, and Spurs fans must have been overjoyed seeing talisman Harry Kane put the ball in the back of the net in the first period. However, VAR cruelly ruled out the goal after it adjudged Kane had fouled Thiago Silva in the leadup to the goal, although it was a 50/50 chance that could easily have fallen to the English skipper.
The Tottenham manager said it was incredible that his side had their potential opening goal disallowed, and that he made his feelings very clear to the referee about the decision. Conte also rued a yellow card decision against Japhet Tanganga , saying that he was forced into a substitution because of the referee’s decision to book the defender.
“In the first half, the referee disallowed a goal and I was very clear with him because I think it’s best sometimes it’s to tell the referee in a polite way, to see this type of goal disallowed in England is incredible. Maybe in Italy 50-50, but in England it was incredible this. So it hurt me a lot the yellow card to Tanganga.”
Last night’s loss leaves us in seventh place in the Premier League table, two points off the Champions League qualification spot with two games in hand. Our chances of making it to the top four are still alive, but we will need to vastly improve our performances on the pitch to ensure we do not bottle this opportunity.
This loss is surely to sting Conte more than the rest, as it was his third loss against his former side, and marked yet another disappointing return to Stamford Bridge for the Italian. This also marked Spurs’ first loss in the league since Conte took over mid-season from Nuno Espirito Santo.
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Despite entering into the tunnel at half time with a disallowed goal, we were blown out of the park as soon as the second half started. Hakim Ziyech once again opened the scoring for his side from distance as he curled one in, before Silva doubled his side’s lead, effectively putting the game to bed.
We did not put up much of a fight after finding ourselves down two goals so early into the second half, drawing just the one save from the Chelsea keeper, although it was a fine late stop to deny Kane. We can only hope that we quickly put this loss behind us, and bounce back to gain more wins and secure a top-four finish.