Chelsea boss Antonio Conte: Tottenham Hotspur were more clincal, but we should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up at half time
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Spurs ended a 28-year wait for an away victory at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and the Blues manager expressed his frustration after the loss
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insisted the difference between his team and Spurs on Sunday was the clinical edge of the visitors.
Tottenham Hotspur travelled to Premier League champions the Blues looking to end a 28-year wait for an away win at Stamford Bridge.
The Lilywhites hadn’t triumphed at Chelsea since February 1990 and it looked like that run would extend when Alvaro Morata headed the hosts ahead in the 30th minute.
A stunning equaliser from Christian Eriksen on the stroke of half time gave Mauricio Pochettino’s team a lifeline though, and Dele Alli grabbed a second-half brace to earn a 3-1 victory and send Spurs eight points clear of the west Londoners.
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Conte said: “I think we created a lot of problems for Tottenham, but the difference was Tottenham were far more clinical than us. This is the great difference.
“All season, we create a lot of chances to score, but we’re not taking them. This is the difference for me and it was the same on Sunday.
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“If you go and see the game again, you can see that Tottenham were very clinical and scored all the chances they had. Instead, we created many, but only scored one goal.”
Certainly in the first half Chelsea failed to make the most of the opportunities and the openings they found created.
Hugo Lloris was forced to make saves from Willian and Victor Moses before Conte’s team took the lead with half an hour played.
It was almost 2-0 in the 42nd minute when Marcos Alonso was denied by Lloris and Jan Vertonghen made a superb clearance to prevent Morata from grabbing a second.
Just as Chelsea were appearing to be heading for half time with a one-goal advantage, Ben Davies and Alli won the ball back from Moses near the corner flag and found Eriksen in space.
The Dane took a touch before unleashing a sensational strike which left Willy Caballero on his knees.
Conte felt it knocked the confidence of his players, he added: “I think our performance was good, especially in the first half.
“I think we played good football, but we scored only one goal and I think in the first half we deserved to be 2-0 or 3-0 up
“Instead, we conceded a goal in the last minute of the first half and that created a bit of a problem in our mind.
“We lost a bit of confidence, but, despite this, in the second half we started the game very well. Then we conceded a goal that you can avoid.
“It was a free ball and I think we made a mistake for the second and also for the third goal. This season, it is going in this way, but now we have to try and do our best until the end.”
Chelsea’s manager was quizzed about whether the Blues still have a chance of making the top-four with Spurs now eight points clear of them with seven games to go.
He tried to remain positive, but conceded they let a big opportunity slip at Stamford Bridge.
“On the one hand, we must be realistic and understand the teams that stay ahead of us are going very fast and at a great speed,” said Conte.
“We had a great chance to close the gap with Tottenham and we lost this chance, but on the other hand, we have to know that, until the end, we have to try to do our best.
“In these seven games, we have to try to do everything to take a place in the Champions League, but it won’t be easy. We must know this.”