Wednesday, January 19

‘A major gap’: Conte admits Chelsea are much stronger than Spurs | Carabao Cup

Antonio Conte acknowledged that Chelsea were “much stronger” than Tottenham Hotspur after watching his team get beaten at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

“There is an important gap, an important difference, there is a great job to do to recover the situation,” said the Tottenham manager after Chelsea’s 2-0 victory in the Carabao Cup semi-final in the first leg.

It was not the first return to his old club that Conte would have wished for after his sacking from Chelsea in 2018 but, after seeing his side sunk by Kai Havertz’s first goal and a comical Ben Davies own goal, the Italian did not. he was in the mood to sweeten the Tottenham situation. By emphasizing the superiority of Thomas Tuchel’s side, he suggested that there would be no quick fixes.

“Last season Chelsea won the Champions League and this is enough to explain the difference between them and us,” said Conte, who took over for Spurs in November. “We need time, so much time, to recover the situation. You can’t do this in just six months or a year. They were much stronger than us. I don’t see a solution in this transfer window.

“It was a difficult game, difficult from the beginning, Chelsea were much better but we are talking about one of the best teams in Europe, in the world. If you compare the two teams, there is no comparison.

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“I know the situation, it is very clear at the moment that there is a significant gap. If we think that we are close [to Chelsea] we are not on the right track. “

Although Tuchel warned that the tie “is not yet decided”, the Chelsea manager seemed delighted at the end of an evening in which he called Romelu Lukaku.

“It looks like a deserved victory, an excellent result,” he said. Reflect the game. We could have scored more, but it is difficult to score against Tottenham. We create many, great opportunities. We never lost focus, we never lost commitment; it was impressive. The team was very focused, very open-minded. “

Tuchel, who revealed that Havertz broke a finger in the first half, expressed his satisfaction with Lukaku following the forward’s reinstatement into the first team fold following his apology following a well-documented and controversial Italian interview.

Having described, perhaps generously, Lukaku’s often disappointing display as “good”, Tuchel said he was “absolutely happy” with the Belgian. “Romelu can handle pressure and adversity. It was a good performance, it contributed a lot to our defensive setup and it had chances. I liked the way he played. “

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