Antonio Conte insists Tottenham performance in Milan loss was ‘better’ than recent displays

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte believes that his side were much improved in their 1-0 loss at Milan on Tuesday compared to some of their recent showings.

Spurs’ Champions League future hangs in the balance following their last 16 first leg defeat at San Siro.

Brahim Diaz scored the only goal of the night after taking advantage of some sloppy Tottenham defending, with the visitors failing to create a chance of note throughout the whole evening.

Nevertheless, Conte was happy that his men showed ‘intensity’ and stressed that everything is still to play for back in north London in the second leg next month.

Conte told BT Sport: “I think it was better today. High intensity, I think we played against a good team. Don’t forget last season Milan won the league in Italy. I think to concede the first goal, we can do much better.

“Instead, we concede a goal after five minutes, then we tried to lead the game, to create situations to score. But I think Milan defended very well. We had opportunities and chances to score, but at the end we are talking about a defeat, a loss.

“The qualification, you have to play two games. That’s the first game away. The atmosphere was a fantastic atmosphere and I know San Siro, I know the difficulty to play in this atmosphere. For sure in the second game we play in our stadium and for sure the fans will create the right atmosphere to push us and overcome the obstacle of Milan.

Conte also reserved praise for young midfield duo Oliver Skipp and Pape Sarr, who were drafted in as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was suspended and Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma recently picked up serious injuries.

“I think that I’m really satisfied with both players. I think Pape Sarr and Skipp played a really good game, they showed the trust we have in them,” Conte added.

“I repeat this, because don’t forget now we are with three midfielders and we have to maybe continue until the end of the season with three midfielders. To have this type of performance helps Skippy and Pape Sarr, it makes me more relaxed. I can be more calm about them, 100%. And then we have Pierre, we are talking about a player for us who is a key player.”

Source: 90mins

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