Conte ‘not happy’ after loss; Tottenham trio singled out for criticism by pundits – ‘he’s struggling’

·2-min read
Conte discusses Tottenham Credit: PA Images
Conte discusses Tottenham Credit: PA Images

Antonio Conte has reacted after Tottenham Hotspur were beaten 2-0 by Sporting Lisbon in the group stages of the Champions League.

Spurs got off to a winning start in the group stages last week as they beat Marseille. Richarlison’s two late goals settled the game.

Tottenham were not at their best against the Ligue 1 side and this continued against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday night.

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The London club had enough chances to score but Sporting Lisbon caused them problems and the hosts came on strong in the final few minutes.

Paulinho headed the ball home past Hugo Lloris from a corner to make it 1-0 to Sporting in the 90th minute.

They doubled their lead three minutes later. Arthur Gomes dribbled into the penalty area before he slotted the ball home past Lloris.

This was a disappointing performance from Spurs, who suffered their first defeat of the 2022/23 season in the process.

Conte stated post-match that his side “can do much better” than they did in the final stages of the game:

“It was a difficult result, when you lose the game you are not happy,” Conte said on BT Sport.

“We tried to win the game and then in the last 10 minutes we can do much better.

“They scored with a corner and we conceded the second goal after the 90 minutes. I think it is a pity. But a difficult game for sure, we tried to get a win but in the end we lost the game.”

BT Sport pundits Glenn Hoddle, Peter Crouch and Jermaine Jenas took aim at three Tottenham players after the final whistle.

Son Heung-Min is yet to score this term and Hoddle has acknowledged that the forward is “struggling”:

“He’s had another torrid game,” Hoddle said.

“I love him to bits and he is a fabulous player but he is struggling.

“As the ball’s coming to him he’s worried about his first touch, whereas when you’re in sync and confident you don’t have to worry about that, you’re thinking about what you’re doing next.”

Crouch went onto suggest that the ball was “coming off” Harry Kane too much against Sporting:

“I thought they were too lax,” Crouch said. “The finishing was a little bit wayward but even some of the touches, I thought Harry Kane at times it was coming off him, he was giving the ball away.

“There were too many performances that weren’t at the level expected in the Champions League. They got punished for it.”

On Emerson Royal, Jenas added: “It’s really loose defending. It’s not something that you associate with Antonio Conte’s defenders in any way shape or form and as Crouchy said it was coming, it was deserved.”

 

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