Antonio Conte has revealed that Tottenham 'felt the blood' of their top-four rivals during their 4-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday.
Son Heung-min got Spurs off to the perfect start, making it 1-0 inside three minutes. Villa responded well after this but the hosts were eventually undone by three second-half goals – two from hat-trick hero Son and one from Dejan Kulusevski.
Spurs' game kicked off at 5:30 and beforehand Wolves, Man Utd and Arsenal – who are challenging the Lilywhites for Champions League qualification this season – all lost their respective fixtures.
According to Conte, this made the victory all the sweeter.
“It was a great win for us, it wasn’t easy. But a great win, especially when you play a game after the games of your rivals in the race for the Champions League and they lost,” he said.
“Wolves, Manchester United and Arsenal. We had to show in this moment that you start to feel the blood of your opponent and it is important to not fail. For this reason we are working a lot on the mentality. The players are giving me great satisfaction in many aspects.
“I said this before - Arsenal, United and then Wolves and West Ham are with us in the same race for a place in the Champions League. To know that your opponent lose their games, and for sure they have to give you the right desire, the right will to get three points because in one hand you know our rivals lose the game if we lose, but we are always in the fourth place.
“A little medium team can think this. A top, strong team think that it is the right moment to improve the distance over your rivals and exploit this situation. We did this despite the difficulty of the game. I repeat we didn’t play with a team [that is] no good, we played against Aston Villa in this stadium, it’s not easy for anyone to win here.”
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