Conte praises Ramsdale and says it is ‘really difficult’ for Spurs to finish in top four after Arsenal loss

Antonio Conte looks dejected Credit: Alamy
Antonio Conte looks dejected Credit: Alamy

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte believes Arsenal proved they are “a really good team” after the Gunners’ convincing 2-0 victory against his side.

Arsenal were very dominant in the opening 45 minutes and did well to handle pressure from the north London rivals in the second half.

Aaron Ramsdale was named player of the match for his display in goal for the Premier League leaders and Conte was high in praise of the England shot-stopper.

The Italian head coach could not fault his players’ effort in the defeat and thinks it could have been a different game if Ramsdale wasn’t so impressive.

“It was difficult to come back after we conceded two goals,” he told Sky Sports. “When we conceded the first, we had the possibility to level the game with Sonny and the keeper made a fantastic save.

“Then they scored the second goal. It could have killed everybody, but not my players as in the second half we tried with a big effort to score and create problems for Arsenal.

“The keeper made fantastic saves today. Arsenal is a difficult opponent now, like Man City. Both teams are going to contend for the Premier League title.

“We played against a strong team but at the same time I’ve not got great disappointment for the commitment of my players. They showed great will and desire to try and come back. Sometimes in the past we did, but today their ‘keeper was really good.

“Arsenal showed to be a really good team. It wasn’t easy for them to play against us in this atmosphere but they have a great balance and suffer in the right moments. They showed great resilience in the second half.

“When a team does this, it means they are ready to fight to win the title with Man City. They are the only two teams who can fight for the Premier League this season.”

On if Tottenham can finish inside the Champions League places, Conte said: “We have to continue to work really hard and we will see our position at the end of the season. Be it Champions League or Europa League.

“Teams like Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United, Newcastle, also Brighton and Brentford. It is really difficult because every team can spend money and even the middle or lower teams have international players.”

Conte added to BBC Match of the Day: “We wanted to deliver and get a result for our fans because we know how important this type of game is for them. This game was also important for us and to improve the table. I am disappointed with the result.

“We started well and started in a strong way and then we conceded a goal. Football is strange and sometimes a situation happens that is very difficult to explain. We had a good chance to equalise with Sonny but the Arsenal keeper made a fantastic save. The second goal could kill everybody.

“I have to be happy with the reaction. They stayed there with their head and mind, and I asked for that. In this sort of game you can lose the mind and concede many goals but instead we created chances. We continued to have a good balance and didn’t concede great chances.

“We have to be disappointed and for our fans. Arsenal deserve to stay top of the table and fight to win the Premier League. They and Manchester City are the two title contenders.”

The occasion concluded on a sour note after Richarlison confronted Ramsdale before a Spurs fan hopped onto the advertising boards to kick the Arsenal No. 1 in the back.

On the incident, Conte said: “In this situation, the final result effects everybody. I have to try and have the right consideration. If you are to get emotional, you can be angry for the bad result. In this moment you have to be good to analyse the situation.

“I’m not disappointed about the performance and commitment and desire and fight they showed. We did it. That is sometimes enough. Sometimes it is not enough.”

READ MORE: Same story for slow-starting Spurs as Arsenal expose Lloris, Sessegnon to cruise to NLD victory

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