Spurs boss Antonio Conte hails Oliver Skipp and Pape Sarr despite loss to Milan

Despite Spurs' defeat to AC Milan in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 match, Antonio Conte is "more relaxed" following the performances of Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr.

Milan won the first leg 1-0 thanks to Brahim Diaz’s first-half goal, leaving the North London club with all to play for in the second leg.

Conte started Sarr and Skipp in midfield in the absence of injured duo of Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur and the suspended Pierre-Emile Hojberg, and the Italian manager praised their abilities.

“I’m really satisfied for both players because I think Sarr and Skippy played a very good game and they showed that the trust that we have in them is justified. They repaid it,” Conte told BBC Sport

“Don’t forget that now we are with three midfielders, and we maybe have to continue for the rest of the season with these three midfielders,” he continued, referring to the injuries of Rodrigo Bentacur and Yves Bissouma.

“These performances from Skippy and Sarr make me more relaxed.”

Speaking on the match itself, Conte said:

“I think it was better today, high intensity and I think we played against a good team. Don’t forget, Milan won the league last season in Italy. To concede that first goal, we can do much better.

“We concede a goal and then we try to create a situation to score but Milan defended very well. We had chances to score but in the end we are talking about a defeat.”

Despite the loss, Conte is prepared to take on Milan in the second leg, and hopes that the crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will help push the team over the line:

“For qualification, you have to play two games”.

“It is the first game away and the atmosphere was fantastic. I know the San Siro, and I know the difficulty to play in this atmosphere”.

“In the second game, we have to play at our stadium and our fans will create the atmosphere to help us overcome the Milan obstacle.”

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