Nine games to go and every game is a final, claims Antonio Conte
Conte issues warning to his side|
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has admitted that his side has nine finals to play for in the Premier League in their bid to put pressure on Arsenal and claim a Champions League qualification spot. The London club secured a crucial 3-1 victory over top-four challengers West Ham on Sunday.
Tottenham hosted West Ham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a high-stakes match that would determine the fate of both teams as they look to secure a top-four spot. Kurt Zouma who endured a hostile reception from the home fans for his off-the-pitch antics suffered the ignominy of scoring an own goal in the 9th minute of the game. Son Heung-Min then doubled the London club's lead in the 24th minute after he collected a lovely pass from Harry Kane before slotting the ball home off the crossbar.
The Hammers rallied back to pull one back in the 35h minute as he finished from close range after a well-worked set-piece routine but it wasn't to be as Son got his second of the night. The South Korean winger put the game to bed with his brace in the 88th minute after a flicked-on header from Kane sent him clean through on goal. Spurs catapulted to fifth on 51 points with them three behind fourth-placed Arsenal and Conte reiterated that his side's mentality has to treat every game like a final in order to finish in a top-four spot.
“The only way to put pressure on Arsenal is to get three points and to win. There are nine games to go and for us every game has to be a final. At the moment they have a good advantage, especially because they are working with the same coach for many years and they have had many transfer markets with the same coach, maybe at this moment they are more ready than us,” Conte told Sky Sports.
"But in five months we have done a fantastic job with these players and we have reduced the gap with many teams in England. For this reason I want to make this target, the race for fourth place. We know the difficulty to reach this target,” he added.