Soccer-Unbeaten record offers little solace to Conte after Spurs draw


  • Football
  • Wednesday, 29 Dec 2021

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - December 28, 2021 Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte REUTERS/David Klein

ROME (Reuters) - Antonio Conte entered the Tottenham Hotspur history books on Tuesday by extending his unbeaten league run to seven games, but the Italian is unlikely to savour a frustrating 1-1 draw at Southampton.

Spurs went behind to a James Ward-Prowse strike, but the game changed when Mohammed Salisu was sent off and conceded a penalty before halftime, which Harry Kane converted.

However, Conte's side couldn't find a second, with Kane's disallowed goal for the narrowest of offsides providing extra exasperation, as they squandered a chance to significantly narrow the gap to the top four.

Spurs dropped to sixth place behind West Ham United, and are five points behind Arsenal in fourth with two games in hand.

"We have to be disappointed because you have to exploit the situation against 10 men," Conte told the BBC.

FATIGUE FACTOR

Conte is the first Spurs manager to remain unbeaten in his first seven league matches, winning four and drawing three.

But he is unlikely to be revelling in his record-breaking moment, and instead pondering how his team only took one point after having 65% possession and 11 shots on target to the hosts' two.

He had one theory at fulltime.

"To play after 44 hours is not easy because you need to recover from the last game," Conte told the BBC.

"Maybe the fatigue caused bad decisions especially when we arrived in their box. It's not easy to take a good result in this stadium. In the end we could do better."

Under the Italian, Kane has rediscovered his scoring touch, and the striker's penalty was his third strike in three games.

It would have been even better if VAR had not chalked off his explosive second.

"Kane played a good game. He could have scored twice. His performance was good. At the end he played a bit of fatigue like the whole team," Conte added.

Spurs are on the way up under Conte, but afternoons like this may come back to bite them in a fierce battle for Champions League qualification.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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