Chelsea v Tottenham: Match in pictures
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Antonio Conte admits there is a lot of work to do at Tottenham after his side were convincingly beaten 2-0 by Chelsea in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. The Spurs boss insists he needs time and patience and worryingly added that it is “not easy” to fix everything via new signings in the January transfer window.
Spurs managed just two shots on target all game with Chelsea running out comprehensive winners thanks to Kai Havertz’s early strike and a bizarre own goal from Ben Davies after Davinson Sanchez’s header rebounded off him and past Hugo Lloris.
The result highlighted the disparity between the two sides with Conte looking to make several additions to his squad to bridge the gap.
And speaking to Sky Sports, Conte admitted post-match that Spurs and Chelsea cannot be compared because the Blues are “a team ready to win”.
The Italian said after his first return to Stamford Bridge since being sacked by Chelsea: “It was a difficult game, difficult from the start, Chelsea showed to be much better than us.
“The first half, we struggled a lot from the start but we know that we are talking about one of the best teams in Europe, in the world, last season they won the Champions League.
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“If you compare the two teams there is not a comparison. We are talking about a team ready to win – today we have seen the difference between the two teams.
“It is not easy to play at Stamford Bridge, the way they were very concentrated, they won the ball every time and then we conceded also a goal we were unlucky. When you start the game and after a few minutes they score, for sure the game becomes very difficult.
“But, I know the situation, it is very clear in this moment there is an important gap. We have to try to fight to stay in the league in a good position, but if we think we are close, I think we are not in the right way.”
The Spurs manager followed that up with another lengthy answer in which he admitted it will not be simple for Spurs to address their problems in the transfer market this month.
Conte added: “There is a lot of jobs to do, in this moment, it is very difficult to understand which part you take to improve because there is a lot of situations to improve.
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“We need time, and patience. Everyone has to have patience, because Tottenham in the last years the level has dropped a lot and now we have to fight to win every game.
“I started my experience with Tottenham and every game we have fought, and now we struggle to win the game, it wasn’t a game you could say it was easy.
“We have to be humble, to understand the situation at the moment and continue to work to improve our players, then we will see.
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“It is not simple to say go in the transfer market, in January it won’t be easy and now the most important thing is to be focused and work to improve.
“The results in the league were good, we reached the semi-final in Carabao Cup and for Tottenham at this moment that is a good target.
“I am always very honest with my players, we have to clap the performance of Chelsea. I like to tell the truth and with a good lie you don’t go anywhere. They showed to be a really good team, much better than us.
“We have to try to change this situation, slowly, slowly. It is impossible to change the situation in one or two transfer markets.
“There is a lot of jobs to do in Tottenham and we need a lot of time. It is important for [us to have] patience and I have to have for me also to have patience.”
Spurs return to action in the FA Cup at home to League One’s relegation-threatened Morecambe on Sunday (2pm).
Conte’s charges then welcome Chelsea to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the second leg of their semi-final clash next Wednesday (7.45pm).
Away goals do not count in the Carabao Cup semi-finals meaning Spurs simply need to win by three goals to progress to the final. An even scoreline will see the match enter extra-time and then a penalty shootout if needed.
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