Wednesday 13 December 2017

We must stay humble, says Conte after Chelsea make it sevens wins in a row

Antonio Conte had another victory to celebrate
Antonio Conte had another victory to celebrate

Antonio Conte says Chelsea are a team transformed, but is adamant it is too soon to consider his side's Premier League title chances.

Chelsea extended their winning sequence to seven Premier League games, coming from behind to win 2-1 and prolong Tottenham's 26-year wait for victory at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues in September lost to Liverpool and Arsenal, but, since Conte adopted a 3-4-3 formation, his side have scored 19 goals, conceding just once.

"Now we are another team," Conte said.

"If we were the same team (as) against Arsenal, Liverpool, today we lose the game. For sure.

"We have another type of confidence. We are working a lot.

"I'm pleased for the players. They enjoy this type of football.

"It's normal in this type of game you can't dominate for the whole game.

"Today it wasn't very easy. Today or this period if you talk about this (the title) it's not right.

"It's not right because we have to improve a lot and we have a long way in front of us.

"It's important to stay humble, to continue to work, to trust in our work, above all after this type of game.

"Today we won a game against a really strong team. On Saturday we'll have another strong team (Manchester City) and we don't forget that against Arsenal, Liverpool we lost."

Not since Gary Lineker scored the winner in February 1990 have Spurs won at Chelsea.

And the visitors suffered their first loss of the season as Conte's Blues responded from conceding a first Premier League goal in 601 minutes, since the 40th minute of the loss at Arsenal.

Pedro's sublime strike cancelled out Christian Eriksen's superb opener and Victor Moses struck what proved to be the winner for Chelsea, who returned to the top of the table ahead of next week's clash with Pep Guardiola's City.

Conte is already looking ahead.

He added: "When you win this type of game, a derby, a special derby, you must be pleased, but from tomorrow it's important to think the next game against City, another very strong team. We have to continue."

Leaking a goal for the first time in two months was a new challenge for a rejuvenated Chelsea, who finished 10th in defence of the Premier League title, but had a say in the destination of the trophy by drawing with Spurs in May.

"It was a big test," Conte said.

"I always speak with my players after the first half and because it's right to say the right things and the bad things that we are doing.

"But sometimes it can happen that the opponent started better than you.

"In that moment we had to improve as a team, not as a single player.

"In the second half we exploited situations we didn't exploit in the first half."

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was keen to move on from May's implosion at Stamford Bridge, when Spurs conceded a two-goal lead in a bad-tempered contest which confirmed Leicester as champions and afterwards saw both sides disciplined by the Football Association.

Spurs now have just one win in 10 games in all competitions, but Pochettino insists he is not unduly concerned.

He said: "No worry, no concern. I think after that game you only feel proud.

"If you analyse the whole game, I think we deserve more, minimum the draw.

"I think we were better, but we lost. They were clinical in front of goal and we weren't."

Pochettino's changes for the midweek loss at Monaco were questioned as Spurs exited the Champions League.

But he defended them even though they did not pay off when Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker and Eriksen returned to the side.

"We are competing in Champions League and Premier League and to be competitive you need sometimes to give rest to some players," he said.

"Regret never. We are professional and we try to make the best decisions for the team."

Moussa Sissoko, who suggested Spurs should swap Wembley for White Hart Lane in Europe, was left out altogether, but Pochettino played down discontent.

Pochettino added: "I can pick 18 players. Tactical, yes."

Press Association

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