Antonio Conte ready to ‘give everything’ against old club Chelsea in semi-finals

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  • Chelsea
    Chelsea
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Antonio Conte
    Antonio Conte
    Italian association football player and manager
  • Lucas Moura
    Lucas Moura
    Brazilian association football player

Antonio Conte promised to “give everything” to help Tottenham beat old club Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-finals but admitted he would prefer the last four clash to be decided with one fixture.

Goals from Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura helped Spurs earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over West Ham in the quarter-finals.

Victory sent Tottenham through to a third semi-final in four years in this competition where they will take on Chelsea, a side who Conte guided to Premier League and FA Cup success during his two seasons in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Given the north London club have just recovered from a major Covid-19 outbreak and are in the middle of a busy festive period, the Italian would rather the last four ties not be two-legged.

Conte said: “Honestly, if I have to decide maybe it would be to play one game and not two games, especially I repeat for the situation we are living but we have to respect the rules.

“For sure it will be nice and good to play against Chelsea for me. I spent two amazing seasons with Chelsea and I enjoyed a lot and everything there, but now I am the manager of Tottenham and I am ready to give everything for this club.

“When you reach the semi-final, for sure in England to lift the trophy is very difficult. You find Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, then Tottenham.

“West Ham, they eliminated United and City. I think that in England the level is very, very high and now let’s see. It is a good game.”

Bergwijn starred on his first start under the new Spurs boss, with a maiden goal for the campaign after 29 minutes before he set up Lucas Moura for what proved the winner five minutes later.

“Tonight, (Matt) Doherty and Steven, they played a really good game and that means they are working well,” Conte added.

“They are involved towards what we want to do and I am always very clear with my players. They have to give me ability, then if they deserve to play, they play.

“The most important thing is when they play, they have to give me everything. It doesn’t matter a good game or bad game but I have to see players totally involved in what we want to do.”

Spurs struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities in the second half and needed captain Hugo Lloris to be in fine form to edge out their London rivals.

Conte will face his former club Chelsea
Conte will face his former club Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

Ex-Juventus boss Conte insisted: “We are working well and many players that we are working, I am seeing a big improvements.

“For sure I would like to see more personality when we have the ball, especially in the moments when we are suffering but I know we are going step by step.

“I know that I can’t ask all of this in two months but for this reason, I am asking patience and asking for time because we need to improve if we want to be a bit competitive.”

West Ham manager David Moyes was proud of his side, who had knocked out both Manchester clubs to reach the last eight.

The Hammers were without top goalscorer Michail Antonio due to a positive Covid-19 test but Jarrod Bowen was a constant threat and produced the equaliser while Said Benrahma went close late on.

“We did an awful lot of good things, but the result was not a good thing,” Moyes said.

“If you had given me European football, Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Premier League, I think without me saying it everybody would know where exactly this would come in terms of what you want to do well in.

“But when you win at Old Trafford, then beat Man City on penalty kicks at home, you start to think this could maybe be our year.

“I think the draw and maybe the timing as well, because Tottenham are sort of reinvigorated a bit.”

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