EPL

Tottenham must improve to catch Chelsea, says Conte after ill-tempered London derby

By Sports Desk August 14, 2022

Antonio Conte says Tottenham need to improve further if they are to reach Chelsea's level after a fiery 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg cancelled out Kalidou Koulibaly's superb opener for the Blues, but Thomas Tuchel's men restored their lead when Reece James burst through to score.

A dramatic conclusion followed though, as Harry Kane was on hand to head home in the 96th minute and spark wild celebrations from Conte, before both he and Tuchel were promptly sent off amid a touchline clash.

That followed an earlier argument between the pair after Hojbjerg's strike, with Tuchel furious the goal had not been ruled out for offside against Richarlison.

The result meant Tottenham have won just one of their last 38 away matches against Chelsea in all competitions (D13 L24), a 3-1 win in April 2018 in the Premier League.

Conte did not want to discuss the specifics of his clash with Tuchel, instead choosing to highlight that his side needs to improve if they are to enjoy the kind of success Chelsea have in recent seasons.

"It's not so important [the clash with Tuchel]," he said in a press conference.

"The most important thing is football and to speak about football. It was an intensive game. This game was really tough for us. You know that they are a really good team here.

"I have to be honest, today Chelsea were better than us. Compared to last season we did better, but if we want to create problems for Chelsea [in the table] we have to be better.

"We can do better, but at the same time we scored twice. In the last three games [against Chelsea] we didn't score.

"We got a point and we showed, in my opinion, character and personality and my players wanted to stay in the game. We can do better."

Tuchel and Conte have both received a card in three different Premier League games since the start of last season, the most of any two managers in the competition.

The Italian, however, rejected suggestions that he can go overboard on the touchline, and believes Spurs fans want to see that he cares.

"You have to show passion every time because the result can be positive or negative but you have to love your job and your work and show your passion," he added.

"If the fans see this, it's good. You can take big achievements if you have a big passion in your job.

"You can understand the situation. I think this game is an important game for both clubs."

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