Tottenham all smiles as Stellini ‘happy’ with ‘great game’ and levels of ‘fight’ in win

Ciaran McCarthy
Cristian Stellini, Tottenham, February 2023

Tottenham assistant coach Cristian Stellini was “happy for the fans, the club and Antonio” as Spurs played a “great game” and put in a “fight for every ball” in win over Chelsea.

Spurs’ win over London rivals Chelsea brought them within four points of Manchester United in third place, though the Red Devils have a game in hand over the north London outfit.

There were a lot of positives to take from the win for Tottenham. An Oliver Skipp rocket from outside the box – his first ever senior Spurs goal – the first of them.

Harry Kane also moved a goal closer to second place on the all-time Premier League goalscorers’ list. Indeed, he’s now on 201, seven goals shy of Wayne Rooney.

A clean sheet for stand-in goalkeeper Fraser Forster was another big plus.

After the game, assistant coach Stellini told BBC Sport the Spurs side had put in the type of performance he wanted from them in what might be his last game taking the reins.

“Our desire was this to win, play a great game and to fight for every ball and we are happy for the fans, the club and of course for us and Antonio who is still at home,” he said.

“My expectation is that Antonio [Conte] will be back this week.”

Stellini was also happy for Skipp, as he finally netted his first Spurs goal at the 67th time of asking.

“Brilliant moment and one that we expected for one year because it has been one year he stayed far from the pitch. Last season with physical problems and this year for tactical decisions,” Stellini said.

“He is ready because he has trained a lot and pushed himself. He is an amazing guy and great player. A player like Skippy has to understand that if he trains a lot he will have possibilities to show his value.”

One of the standout moments of the game was Hakim Ziyech’s red card. Which then became his not red card. Referee Stuart Attwell chose to dismiss him following a consultation with VAR after he appeared to strike Emerson Royal in the face.

However, the referee then went to the monitor to see the incident for himself, changing the red card to a yellow one. Stellini praised the referee for his communication regarding the incident.

“The referee was good and explained the situation to us. VAR needed time to see who the player was and then to check if it was violent or not so they took their time and make this decision,” he said.

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