Defeated but still strong

Antonio Conte contrasted Wednesday night’s defeat at Spurs with his team’s only other two league losses this season and sees a big difference.

Back in September the Blues lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool and 3-0 away at Arsenal, the result that prompted our boss to change the system and the players to embark on the winning league run. That lasted 13 matches until Dele Alli headed two goals at White Hart Lane without reply in our first game of 2017.

‘We are disappointed but also we must be pleased for our run as 13 wins in this league is not easy,’ Conte said.

‘Today we lost against a good team, a really strong team and don’t forget Tottenham fought last season for the title. Mauricio Pochettino has worked with his team for many years and they are improving, and they are one of the six teams that can fight to the end to win the title, or a place in the Champions League.

‘Now we have to restart, to continue to work and this defeat is totally different if you compare with our defeats in September, because at that moment we were not a team. Tonight we showed we are a strong team and this is important.’

Conte said the nature of the game showed his side were not below their normal level physically.

‘I saw a good game with great balance between two teams very strong,’ he said. ‘There was good intensity in the game. Tottenham and Chelsea created chances to score a goal but Tottenham scored in the best moment for them and the worst moment for us.

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‘At the start of the second half we started very well and created chances to score but then we conceded the second goal. They were two similar goals but I was a footballer and that can happen in a game. We have to continue to work and improve and it is normal. This is a process and we started this process only five months ago and with time we can improve, and we will improve.’

Conte smiled at a suggestion he might now consider changing his formation, given the question had come after a defeat which followed so many wins. He also played down the words between Diego Costa and Pedro when they did not combine as they wished on a counter attack, saying it was normal disappointment at wasting a good chance.

‘Every day we work on this system and try to give different solutions with or without the ball and we have found good balance,’ he added.

‘My priory is to come back to winning. We are working together only for five months and to see we are on top of the table with the same players as last season, we must be pleased with this.’

Originally posted 2017-01-05 01:22:23.

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