Antonio Conte says there is ‘no comparison’ between Tottenham and Chelsea after their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea ran out comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to Kai Havertz’s opener and an own goal from Ben Davies. Romelu Lukaku, back in the side after his recent controversial comments, could have put the Blues in front early on.
He went through on goal but opted to square the ball for Havertz, only to miss the German by some margin.
But Chelsea got their lead with five minutes on the clock. Japhet Tanganga sold Emerson Royal short, allowing Marcos Alonso to steal.
The left-back sent Havertz through and he did the rest, holding off his marker before beating Hugo Lloris, with a bit of help from Davinson Sanchez.
Things went from bad to worse for Tottenham in the 34th minute. Sanchez did well to stop Lukaku but then brought the Belgian down, giving Hakim Ziyech the chance to swing in a free-kick.
Tanganga went to clear but headed into Davies, who was unlucky to see the ball ricochet off him and into the net.
Spurs were better in the second half but never truly managed to concern Thomas Tuchel’s men.
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During a post-match interview with Sky Sports (via BBC Sport), Conte said: “It was a difficult game, difficult from the start, Chelsea showed to be much better than us.
“The first half, we struggled a lot from the start but we know that we are talking about one of the best teams in Europe, in the world, last season they won the Champions League. If you compare the two teams there is not a comparison. We are talking about a team ready to win – today we have seen the difference between the two teams.
“It is not easy to play at Stamford Bridge, the way they were very concentrated, they won the ball every time and then we conceded also a goal we were unlucky. When you start the game and after a few minutes they score, for sure the game becomes very difficult.
“But, I know the situation, it is very clear in this moment there is an important gap. We have to try to fight to stay in the league in a good position, but if we think we are close, I think we are not in the right way.”
Conte requests patience from Tottenham fans
Conte added: “There is a lot of jobs to do, in this moment, it is very difficult to understand which part you take to improve because there is a lot of situations to improve. We need time, and patience. Everyone has to have patience, because Tottenham in the last years the level has dropped a lot and now we have to fight to win every game.
“I started my experience with Tottenham and every game we have fought, and now we struggle to win the game, it wasn’t a game you could say it was easy.
“We have to be humble, to understand the situation at the moment and continue to work to improve our players, then we will see. It is not simple to say go in the transfer market, in January it won’t be easy and now the most important thing is to be focused and work to improve.
“The results in the league were good, we reached the semi-final in Carabao Cup and for Tottenham at this moment that is a good target.”