Tottenham news: Antonio Conte hits new low with sad admission after Man City loss | Football | Sport
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte revealed to reporters that his team’s capitulation against Manchester City was the first time in his managerial career that one of his sides conceded four goals in one half. The Spurs boss is under mounting pressure after a disappointing run of Premier League form following the World Cup.
Spurs pulled off an unlikely 3-2 win to down City at the Etihad last season and their supporters must have thought that a repeat was on the cards on Thursday. Quickfire first-half goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal gave Conte’s men a two-goal buffer at the interval, with the home crowd scratching their heads.
City got one back soon after the break through Julian Alvarez, however, and the floodgates opened from there. Buoyed with confidence, Erling Haaland headed home his 22nd Premier League goal of the campaign before Riyad Mahrez’s double sealed a win and an attractive 4-2 scoreline.
The second-half capitulation was particularly concerning for Spurs fans, and after the game Conte – usually famed for his teams’ defensive solidity – explained that he has never seen one of his sides ship four goals in one half.
JUST IN: Man Utd dealt major Arsenal blow in last-gasp Crystal Palace draw
Defeat leaves Spurs five points behind Manchester United, who occupy the last Champions League qualification spot despite having played one game fewer. Conte’s team therefore face an uphill battle to qualify for next year’s competition but the former Inter Milan boss insists that performances have been positive, despite admitting that his players need to learn to manage pressure situations.
“In the end, the final result is what’s important and today we’re talking about a loss,” he added. “The whole team had to manage the second half much better. When you concede a goal after a few minutes, if you have experience, you would manage the situation much better. We could have stayed calm in the tough moment.
“I continue to repeat the same thing – the team is a good team and we played a good game, but the last two games we played first and second in the table. I always spoke about the process. I think Tottenham has just started this process to become more competitive and try to fight for trophies.
“We have to continue to work and improve these players and improve our management of these situations. For sure, there is frustration because we didn’t expect to concede so many in the second half. It means that defensively we were really poor, but not only with the defenders, with the whole team.”