Antonio Conte delighted with second-half fight back as Tottenham ‘started to play nasty’

Antonio Conte was pleased with Tottenham Hotspur’s performance as his side “started to play nasty” to fight back against AFC Bournemouth.

This was a much-needed win for Spurs as they were without a win in three games prior to their trip to face Bournemouth.

The visitors made life difficult for themselves as Kieffer Moore’s first-half brace placed the Cherries in control of the game.

But Tottenham showed character after the interval as they battled back to earn all three points.

Ryan Sessegnon started the comeback before Ben Davies equalised for Spurs with around 15 minutes remaining.

The Londoners looked like they would have to settle for a draw but Rodrigo Bentancur volleyed the ball home from inside the penalty area in the 92nd minute to make it 3-2. 

Conte stated post-match that his players performed “with a will and desire”.

“I don’t want to think what would be my mood if we lost this game. I have to be honest and also after the first half my feeling was positive,” Conte said (via Football London).

“The only situation I ask of my players is to show our personality and take more responsibility because the game was on us.

“In the second half despite conceding the second goal, we started to play nasty, with a will and desire. To not only move the ball and show we are good and nice but in an effective way.

“I think we created many chances to score and in the end, we won the game in a difficult stadium because Bournemouth is a really good team.

“It is not easy to play against them because when they play with two strikers, it is difficult to play under pressure.

“In the end, I think it was vital for us this win, especially after two losses in the Premier League and now this win has to give us enthusiasm, and passion to go into Marseille and play a final.”

Conte opted to go down the tunnel when Bentancur found the net for Tottenham’s third. When asked why he did this, he answered: “I came back when I knew the goal was regular.

“I thought in my mind and my heart that I can have a heart attack because in two days to score and then have a goal disallowed.

“I said I go down and then stay calm and then I wait for the decision of the referee. But for sure it was great to see the desire of my players and the reaction they had.

“I repeat also the nastiness they put into the pitch because I have seen in the eyes of my players the desire to win this game.

“Also when we drew 2-2 and then in our mind the only thought was to take the ball and start to play again. This reaction was really positive and I want this from my players.”

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