Thursday, January 19, 2017

Conte upbeat as Chelsea boss hails strength in defeat

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Jan 2017

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Antonio Conte shrugged off Chelsea’s loss to London rivals Tottenham, with the head coach praising the strength shown by the Premier League leaders on Wednesday.

Chelsea’s quest for a record-equalling 14th consecutive Premier League win was halted by Tottenham, who emerged 2-0 victors thanks to Dele Alli’s brace at White Hart Lane.

Alli converted Christian Eriksen crosses either side of half-time as Chelsea suffered defeat for the first time since September, with their lead atop the summit cut to five points.

Conte, however, was upbeat post-match, telling reporters: “We are disappointed but also we must be pleased for our run as 13 wins in this league is not easy.

“Today we lost against a good team, a really strong team and don’t forget Tottenham fought last season for the title. Mauricio Pochettino has worked with his team for many years and they are improving, and they are one of the six teams that can fight to the end to win the title, or a place in the Champions League.

“Now we have to restart, to continue to work and this defeat is totally different if you compare with our defeats in September, because at that moment we were not a team. Tonight we showed we are a strong team and this is important.”

Conte added: “I saw a good game with great balance between two teams very strong.

“There was good intensity in the game. Tottenham and Chelsea created chances to score a goal but Tottenham scored in the best moment for them and the worst moment for us.

“At the start of the second half we started very well and created chances to score but then we conceded the second goal. They were two similar goals but I was a footballer and that can happen in a game. We have to continue to work and improve and it is normal. This is a process and we started this process only five months ago and with time we can improve, and we will improve.”

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