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Stellini frustrated by lack of control as Tottenham start life after Conte

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Apr 2023

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Cristian Stellini rued Tottenham’s lack of control as they began life without Antonio Conte by drawing 1-1 away to struggling Everton on Monday.

Harry Kane’s 68th-minute penalty looked to have been enough for Spurs to make a winning start under Stellini.

But Michael Keane’s superb late strike from distance seized a crucial point for the Toffees at Goodison Park, frustrating their visitors.

Stellini was especially irritated by the result, particularly given Spurs’ man advantage for most of the second half after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s red card.

“My feeling now is that we have lost two points,” he told Sky Sports. “We had an [extra] man against them, we needed to control the game.

“We tried to do [that] but not in the way I expect. With 11 players, we have to do much better. You control the game with the ball, not without.”

Spurs were also reduced to 10 men in the final stages when Lucas Moura was dismissed for a late lunge on Keane before his equaliser.

Stellini, who was stood near Doucoure when he pushed Kane in the face to earn his red, believed both calls were fair from referee David Coote.

“I think Harry conceded a lot of tackles today before the red card,” he said. “Lucas, his tackle was too dangerous. Both of the red cards are clear for me.”

Despite missing out on a win, the draw moved Tottenham back into the top four, level on 50 points with Newcastle United and Manchester United.

Their rivals have two games in hand each, but Stellini believes Spurs can draw on their experience from last season’s battle for Champions League qualification.

“It will be a tough race,” he conceded. “But one year ago, we had 51 points. We were fifth, and today, we are fourth.

“We are in the same position [as] last season. We have to be ready to fight. Now we think about the next game.”

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