Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Conte impressed by Alli in valiant Liverpool draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Dec 2021

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Antonio Conte was impressed with Dele Alli’s performance against Liverpool as the Tottenham head coach continues to develop an understanding of which players he can count on.

Spurs had not played since December 5 against Norwich City, missing three games due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the club but recorded a valiant 2-2 draw with Jurgen Klopp’s side on Sunday.

Harry Kane opened the scoring with just his second Premier League goal of the campaign and his first at home in the competition since May, though strikes from Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson – who was later sent-off – put Liverpool into the ascendancy.

Son Heung-min then salvaged a deserved point for Spurs after an Alisson blunder, but Conte’s side could have scored four or five, with the Liverpool goalkeeper’s best save coming against Alli in the first half.

Indeed, Alli was making just his seventh league start of 2021-22 and managed 81 minutes before his removal, enjoying three touches in the opposition box – which he has only bettered twice this term against Watford and Wolves.

The England international also created one chance, the first opportunity he has provided in nine league outings this term, in what Conte found to be an encouraging showing from the midfielder.

Conte told Sky Sports: “He played a good game. With this formation with three midfielders, he can play as a midfielder and I think he’s strong physically, he’s good technically, good penetration. 

“If he was a bit [more] effective he could score but the performance was good. It’s important to understand about the players I can count [on] now and for the future, also to find the right solution for a formation. 

“Previously we played 3-4-2-1, today we played 3-5-2. To have two possibilities is good for me, good for the team and it gives the possibility to many players to be involved.”

Tottenham are yet to lose in the Premier League under Conte, winning three and sharing the points in the other two, as the former Inter head coach appears to have had an positive impact on his side.

Spurs dominated for large parts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Liverpool and Conte acknowledged it was somewhat frustrating to leave with just a point.

“I think it was an exciting game and we created many chances to score and win the game,” he added. “We have to be a bit disappointed for the draw. For sure we played against a really strong team.

“For the chances we created, we go home with the thought instead of one point it could be three points.

“We prepared a plan. It’s not simple to defend against them. When we’re in possession I said we could create problems for Liverpool. This happened today. The supporters have seen a good, exciting game.

“I don’t want to speak about the decision of the referee [on Kane’s challenge on Robertson]. I think the game was good for both teams. Harry played a good game. He scored a goal of vital importance. He had chances to score other goals. He’s an important player for us.”

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