EPL

Important Bergwijn happy to stay at Tottenham - Conte

By Sports Desk January 19, 2022

Steven Bergwijn inspired Tottenham to a stunning late 3-2 win over Leicester City on Wednesday and Antonio Conte appears to have no intention of allowing him to leave.

Bergwijn has been consistently linked with a move away from Spurs, with Ajax and Sevilla said to be among those interested in the forward.

However, he rescued Spurs from their first Premier League defeat under Conte in remarkable circumstances at the King Power Stadium.

Patson Daka put the Foxes in front against the run of play, but Harry Kane's 250th club goal of his career brought Spurs level in a pulsating first half.

James Maddison looked to have consigned Tottenham to defeat as Spurs boss when he restored Leicester's lead 14 minutes from time.

But Bergwijn provided an incredible twist in the tale, coming off the bench to strike in the 95th minute and again in the seventh minute of stoppage time to move Spurs above fierce rivals Arsenal into fifth place.

Asked about the Netherlands international, Conte said: "In the past when someone asks me about Steven Bergwijn, I was very clear.

"I said that for me he is an important player because he has characteristics that in our squad we don't have many creative players.

"He is very good in one vs one, good to beat the man. He can play striker, he can play number 10 and for us, for me, he is an important player and we have to try to improve, to become stronger, not to lose a player and become less strong.

"Steven is a player that if he's in good physical condition and he has good fitness, he can start the games or he can come in and change the game.

"For me, I think he's an important player and you know very well the player has to be happy and I think the player is happy to stay with us and play for Tottenham."

Related items

  • Heber helps NY City to third straight win in MLS as LA Galaxy, Austin slip up Heber helps NY City to third straight win in MLS as LA Galaxy, Austin slip up

    New York City FC moved to second spot in the Eastern Conference on Sunday, claiming a 1-0 victory at home to Chicago Fire.

    Following a handball from Miguel Navarro, Heber scored the lone goal for City from the penalty spot to move the reigning MLS champions to 23 points.

    It was only the 30-year-old's second goal this season, and despite City's dominance in possession with 61.8 per cent of the ball, they could not translate it to anything substantial in open play.

    City have nevertheless won six of their last seven games in the MLS to recover from a slow start to the season, with only one win in their opening five.

    Ronny Deila's side sit a point from Philadelphia Union at the top of the Eastern Conference following the Union's 2-0 win on the road over Portland Timbers in Sunday's final game.

    Elsewhere in the East, CF Montreal and New York RB both dropped points, losing to Real Salt Lake and Inter Miami respectively.

    Orlando City let a two-goal lead within the opening 25 minutes slip, meanwhile, going down to nine men and eventually playing out a 2-2 draw away to Austin FC.

    Moussa Kalilou Djitte's equaliser in the 95th minute salvaged a point for Austin, who could not manage to retake top spot in the Western Conference from Los Angeles FC.

    Los Angeles Galaxy lost their second in the three games, going down 3-0 to Houston Dynamo, while FC Dallas also lost to Minnesota United.

    The Seattle Sounders' disappointing start to the MLS season continued on Sunday, losing 1-0 to Colorado Rapids, while the SJ Earthquakes and Sporting KC played out a 1-1 draw.

    After two goals in the opening ten minutes, Daniel Rios provided an 85th-minute winner for Charlotte as they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1.  

  • Simeone: This season a 'wake-up call' for Atletico Madrid Simeone: This season a 'wake-up call' for Atletico Madrid

    Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is satisfied but expects more after his side's season ended with a 2-1 win away to Real Sociedad on Sunday.

    Having already confirmed Champions League football next season, Atleti secured third spot over Sevilla with the win through second-half goals from Argentine duo Rodrigo de Paul and Angel Correa.

    After holding out against Real Madrid to win the LaLiga title last season, Simeone's side were considered favourites to repeat after strengthening the squad with De Paul, Matheus Cunha and Antoine Griezmann's arrivals, but finished 15 points adrift of their title-winning city rivals.

    Securing Champions League qualification is satisfactory according to Simeone, but this season has been a reality check for Atleti.

    "As we were champions last year, this always seems little," he said post-match. "In the end we ended up rounding off an important season, a good one, and one that leaves us in a privileged place," he said post-game.

    "I'm not going to lie, because I always expected more and I always want to be the champion. It's not easy because we live in a league with Barcelona and Real Madrid and it's difficult for both of them to fail, but on two occasions since I've been coach of Atletico we've achieved it.

    "This season has given us a wake-up call."

    Four consecutive LaLiga losses in December put the Rojiblancos in a difficult position, 14 points off Real Madrid by Christmas and out of the Champions League places with a resurgent Barcelona gaining ground under Xavi.

    They were eventually able to turn around a nine-point deficit to Sevilla, while pushing Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League, in what was a positive second half to the season.

    Following a solid performance to end the season, Atleti's strong run home gives Simeone confidence going into the next campaign, despite the Spanish league's natural order.

    "It's not a problem of improving positions, although it's clear how we can strengthen ourselves, but the team is already there and it has very good players who have won 10 in the last 14 games, which are numbers of a champion," he said.

    "We were very close to not making it [Champions League]," Simeone said. " This season leaves us with a lot of things, it was hard. We need to rest, since it started it wasn't easy. It cost a lot. It would be great to be able to generate hope, reverse how the end of the season was done. The rebelliousness of the players give us hope."

  • Xavi: Barcelona must be 'humble' to improve in off-season Xavi: Barcelona must be 'humble' to improve in off-season

    Barcelona boss Xavi asserted the club must be "humble" after they marked the end of the season with a 2-0 loss to Villarreal on Sunday.

    Goals from Alfonso Pedraza and Moi Gomez handed the seventh-placed Villarreal their first LaLiga win at Camp Nou since 2008 and punctuated Barcelona's trophy-less season, finishing 13 points off the title-winning Real Madrid.

    The fact Barca even finished second provided some cause for satisfaction given their start to the season, after winning only four of the opening 13 league games and sitting ninth in November, when Xavi took over from Ronald Koeman.

    The 42-year-old believes, amid an expectant fan base, the time to get to work and transform the squad to his liking has officially come, now Barca have reached the end of the season.

    "I keep the minutes in which people have cheered," Xavi said post-game. "It is normal, the public does not like to lose. But taking stock, we have to be satisfied. We have to be humble and see reality. Now the work of the office begins.

    "We have to change things. We have to opt for titles. We have to change things. We have to improve and strengthen ourselves."

    After only managing Al-Sadd for two years before taking on the coaching role at his former club, Xavi has experienced a baptism by fire upon his return to Europe, with crises gripping his boyhood club both on and off the pitch.

    The Blaugrana have experienced positive and difficult moments in his first coaching role in Europe, defeating Real Madrid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu but also falling meekly in the Europa League at the hands of eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

    On a personal level, Xavi is in a sense satisfied he has aided Barcelona in qualifying for the Champions League and salvaging their season, but is the adamant his squad must improve.

    "I knew that it was coming at a complicated and difficult moment," he said. "We have improved, but not enough. We have played brilliant games, but we have to be more reliable. I am here to add value, now we have to work for next year. We have to be positive.

    "We've saved a season that could have been disastrous. I'm satisfied on a personal level. We came from one of the worst moments in the club's history. A lot of things have to be changed.

    "This season has gone as it has gone. The coach has changed. And now we cannot come second. We have to reinforce ourselves very well. We have to compete. We have to change many things."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.