Antonio Conte delighted with win but admits Spurs have room for improvement

Davinson Sanchez scored a stoppage-time winner for Tottenham at Watford

Sonia Twigg
Saturday 01 January 2022 18:28
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Antonio Conte was delighted to see Tottenham Hotspur claim victory at Watford following Davinson Sanchez’s last-gasp winner but admits they need to make more of their opportunities.

Tottenham, having been held 1-1 by 10-man Southampton on Tuesday, looked set to be frustrated again as they struggled to make the breakthrough against the Hornets despite dominating possession and having a number of chances at Vicarage Road.

However, with the match deep into almost 10 minutes of added time following a late stoppage due to a medical emergency in the crowd, Sanchez headed Heung-min Son’s free-kick past Daniel Bachmann to earn Conte’s men all three points.

The Italian was thrilled to claim the win, but knows his side – who had 74 per cent possession and 21 shots, including nine on target – have room for improvement, especially in the final third.

“I am delighted for the commitment, for the performance, for the play, (it is) another clean sheet and we are showing solidity also in this aspect,” the Tottenham manager said.

“I think at the end it was good to find a way to get three points and I guess at Southampton we weren’t able to find a way.

“I think that during the game when you create these chances to score you have to try to destroy these chances, especially in this type of game and against this type of opponent, who is well organised with the nine or 10 players behind the ball and it is not easy.

“I think that we have a team that is very good and we found space to attack, when we find a team that they are very narrow and they defend very well with all the team.

“We need to improve, I know we have space for improvement and also to improve the quality in the final pass.”

While Tottenham were left to celebrate a dramatic win, Watford’s troubles continued as they suffered a sixth successive defeat and remain without a clean sheet in the top flight this season.

Manager Claudio Ranieri insisted the Hornets are “alive” and “will survive” despite being just two points above the relegation zone.

“I think we made a good match because we knew that Tottenham wanted to play on the counter attack and we didn’t concede one counter attack, always we were very very solid in different ways,” Ranieri said.

“They made a lot of crosses but with my taller players we were very very calm.

“At the end what I didn’t think was (that) I would concede a goal with a header, unbelievable, with all my tall players to concede a goal in the last minute was a pity.

“But I am very proud of my players and also our fans should be proud because the match was good, we played much better and the performance was much better than the performance in the last match against West Ham.

“We are alive and we will survive. We are very very concentrated on being solid.”

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