Premier League English

Antonio Conte leaves Man Utd red-faced as Tottenham show what they’re clearly missing

Insane might be the right word to describe Tottenham’s continued presence in the race for the top four as Antonio Conte’s boys are still in the mix for a Champions League place thanks to a convincing 3-1 win over West Ham as the multiple-award winner left the big guns at Manchester United red faced.

Harry Kane and Son Heung Min are part of the key reasons why Conte’s squad are now fifth, just eight points behind the third-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand. With the match-winners, the north Londoners are able to continue dreaming of salvaging a Champions League place from a chaotic season. With 19 assists each, Kane and Son have both combined for 38 Premier League goals, the most of any strike partnership in the competition’s history.

The last three months have seen Spurs outclassed by Chelsea, embarrassed by Southampton and Wolves at home and capitulating to Burnley. And yet here they now stand, looking none the worse and within a win of drawing level with fourth-placed Arsenal, with the Gunners having played a game more.

Conte’s name reverberated around the Tottenham Hotspur stadium ahead of the final whistle as the former Chelsea boss has turned a side that were in total disarray in the earlier half of the season prior to his joining into a much leaner outfit storming their way determinedly into the top four.

The embarrassment must have been tough for Manchester United to stomach, having turned their hoighty-toighty noses up at him when they are now enviously crying out for his work ethic that he demands of his players.

The Red Devils are now looking up at a Tottenham side that David Moyes’ West Ham side just simply couldn’t cope with at all. After that epic Europa League win over Sevilla last Thursday to reach the quarter-final, Moyes’ men were clearly slow to react, eight minutes in, when Kane crossed for Son, the ball bouncing in off defender Kurt Zouma’s knee.

Son then doubled the lead fifteen minutes later with another move that was as sublime as it was scintillating. Rodrigo Bentancur, on the left, moved the ball infield to Kulusevski. The Swede exchanged passes with Kane before presenting it to Son on a silver platter and the South Korean’s effort gave keeper Lukasz Fabianski no chance.

Unfortunately Spurs still can’t defend to save their lives and minutes before the break, Craig Dawson flicked the ball on from Aaron Cresswell’s corner and Said Benrahma, unmarked, slammed it in at the back post.

Despite a second half resurgence from Moyes’ men in which Michail Antonio volleyed over the box in the 56th minute, Son had the deal signed, sealed and delivered for Spurs in the 89th minute after a long kick from keeper Hugo Lloris was masterfully headed on by Kane to release the brilliant final shot from the Korean dynamo. Sheer poetry in motion from the dynamic duo.

To his credit, Conte has inevitably notched up some incredible achievements in his storied career at clubs boasting far more star power. Now at Spurs, after reinvigorating Kane and Son, he might just be able to blast Spurs into the Champions League after the absolutely patchy period the troubled north Londoners have experienced this season.

Manchester United should be licking their chops right about now.