Manchester United remain favourites for top-four finish, Conte claims after West Ham win

By Sports Desk March 20, 2022

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte claimed Manchester United remain favourites to secure Champions League qualification after watching his side beat West Ham 3-1.

Conte also acknowledged that local rivals Arsenal have a "big advantage" over his Spurs side in the battle for a top-four finish.

Two goals from Heung-Min Son, both assisted by Harry Kane, fired Spurs to a 3-1 victory over London rivals West Ham after Kurt Zouma put through his own net early on.

Conte took charge of his 400th match as a top-flight manager on Sunday, with Tottenham's win over the Irons representing his 253rd win in those games (he has 81 draws and 66 losses).

Speaking to Sky Sports after Spurs moved fifth in the table, three points behind Arsenal having played one game more, Conte insisted that his side are not amongst the favourites for a top-four spot, but emphasised the importance of the still-to-be-rearranged North London derby.

"You know very well my thoughts about the third Champions League place," Conte said. "There are four teams in England, in my opinion, which are better than the others at this moment.

"I'm talking about [Manchester] City, United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.

"But if there is one of these four teams which fails this season, Arsenal, Tottenham, and West Ham need to be ready, to try to stay very close until the end.

"Anything can happen, especially in this league. If you remember, last season, Liverpool struggled a lot, now Manchester United are struggling.

"We know that at this moment, Arsenal have a big advantage, but at the same time we have a game here against Arsenal, and we will see [what happens]."

Tottenham produced a dominant display against the Hammers, creating a tally of 2.70 expected goals (xG) and registering 17 shots to West Ham's six.

The 3-1 triumph came as a relief to a Spurs side which had lost five of their seven previous Premier League London derbies this season, last losing more in a single campaign in 2004-05 (seven), and Conte said he was "delighted" with the performance.

"I'm delighted," he added. "Not only because we got three points, but because I have seen a team which played football from the start until the end.

"We dominated the game, and created many chances to score, a lot of positive things.

"It was a really good game for us. We are improving a lot, in many aspects, not only tactically, but we are starting to control the games for 90 minutes.

"I also think that we are enjoying playing football, and this is important for our fans, who come here. I think they were delighted to see the team win in this way."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.