Harry Kane broke the all-time scoring record for Tottenham as a 1-0 home win over Manchester City handed Arsenal a huge boost in the Premier League title race.

Leaders Arsenal's 1-0 defeat at strugglers Everton on Saturday offered City the chance to cut the gap to just two points, but Spurs did their north London rivals a favour a day later. 

Kane's cool 15th-minute finish, which also marked his 200th Premier League strike, took him past Jimmy Greaves onto 267 goals for the hosts, who defended resolutely to see out victory despite a late red card for Cristian Romero.

Spurs, without head coach Antonio Conte after gallbladder surgery, moved within a point of the top four, while City trail Arsenal by five having played a game more.

Manuel Akanji could only head straight at Hugo Lloris after five minutes with a presentable chance as City – who opted to start without Kevin De Bruyne – enjoyed a dominant opening.

But Spurs struck first against the run of play as Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg nipped in front of Rico Lewis before offloading to Kane, who finished into the bottom-left corner for a historic goal.

Jack Grealish curled narrowly wide and Riyad Mahrez's fizzing close-range effort was denied by the crossbar as City searched for a response before the interval.

Pep Guardiola sent on De Bruyne for Mahrez before the hour and his short free-kick teed up Julian Alvarez, whose arrowing drive was thwarted by Eric Dier's goal-line block.

Alvarez whistled another thumping effort narrowly wide soon after and, although Romero was dismissed after picking up a second booking for a foul on Grealish, City were ultimately frustrated as their title tilt hit a stumbling block. 

What does it mean? Advantage Arsenal after Spurs right previous City wrongs

Spurs and Conte were left to a rue a missed chance after squandering a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 at City last month.

However, Tottenham – managed by assistant Cristian Stellini in Conte's absence – exacted revenge to win their fourth straight home league game against City.

Guardiola's men did not score in any of those fixtures, marking just the third time City have lost four straight Premier League away games against an opponent without netting, as Arsenal were handed the advantage in the title race.

Monumental day for Kane

Not only did Kane surpass the late Greaves to etch his name in Tottenham history, the England striker also joined an illustrious Premier League club with his calm first-half strike.

Kane is just the third player to hit the double century of goals in the competition, achieving the feat in 304 games – Alan Shearer needed 306, while Wayne Rooney required 462.

Guardiola's Tottenham woe continues

While City staged an impressive second-half comeback in the first league meeting between these two sides this season, Guardiola may be wondering what he must do to win at Spurs.

The City head coach has lost all five of his visits to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions – Spurs' home soil representing the away ground Guardiola has managed most at in his career without winning.

What's next?

City will look to bounce back at home to Aston Villa on February 12, while Tottenham visit Leicester City the day before.

Antonio Conte was absent as Tottenham hosted Manchester City on Sunday, with the visitors surprisingly only naming Kevin De Bruyne as a substitute.

Spurs head coach Conte had his gallbladder removed on Wednesday, but assistant Cristian Stellini said on Friday there was a possibility the former Juventus and Italy boss would be swiftly back to work.

That did not come to pass, meaning Stellini stepped in to lead the team, and captain Hugo Lloris was confident Tottenham could still be competitive in the Premier League clash with Pep Guardiola's title hunters.

Lloris told Sky Sports: "We had the full week to prepare for the game. Obviously we missed our manager, but the coaching staff provided the best to the players to prepare as well as we can for this big game.

"I think at the moment he's at home in Turin. I don't know what the plan is in the changing room, but we had a few words yesterday at the Lodge [Tottenham's training ground].

"It belongs to the players and all the staff to take the responsibility, to give even a bit more from ourselves to make a good performance."

Stay playmaker De Bruyne was left on the bench in what Guardiola confirmed was a tactical move as he selected a 4-4-2 shape, with a midfield of Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Rodrigo and Jack Grealish supporting strikers Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland.

City were without Phil Foden due to illness, Guardiola added.

These teams met last month, when Tottenham led 2-0 at half-time but wound up suffering a 4-2 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane came into the game on 199 career goals in the Premier League, and level with Jimmy Greaves as Spurs' all-time record scorer.

Antonio Conte could be on the Tottenham bench for Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester City, just four days after having his gallbladder removed.

That possibility was revealed by his assistant coach, Cristian Stellini, who would take the reins if Conte has to wait for his return to work.

Stellini held the fort at Friday's pre-match press conference, and there is a strong chance of him remaining in charge for the home clash with title-chasing City.

Yet Conte said within hours of the operation that he was "already feeling better", and that improvement has continued according to his second-in-command.

Stellini said: "We don't know yet when Antonio is coming back. Everything is possible. The surgery was good and he's recovering well.

"At the moment he's at home. We have two days before the game and everything can happen."

Asked whether Conte could therefore be involved on Sunday, Stellini said: "We don't know yet. The decision will be made tomorrow. We are ready to do everything.

"Probably a doctor that did the surgery, they have to decide for him. We have 48 hours from today to decide, so we have time."

Conte was experiencing severe pain which necessitated the surgery, and usually a patient will need a longer recovery than four days after such an operation.

The UK's National Health Service suggests a patient will usually require two weeks of recovery before returning to a desk job, and longer for manual work.

Given Conte is usually an animated figure on the Tottenham touchline, his role seemingly falls into the latter category, and Stellini said it would be important for his fellow Italian to be prudent once he does come back.

"I think no one here can keep Antonio calm. He knows that to have a surgery and a surprise like he had, it's not easy," Stellini said.

"He's an intelligent man, so he knows what's happened to him. It's not the worst surgery you can have, but it's a surgery. You have to be careful and Antonio has to do it."

Stellini said Conte's staff, including first-team coach Ryan Mason, were ready to carry out his usual duties.

"Antonio sends me a message and he trusts us completely, one hundred per cent trust in the staff," Stellini said. "We are focused more than normal because we have to do what Antonio normally does, and Antonio is happy about our job."

He said Conte had been "so sad" about the prospect of having to have surgery, and it comes at a time when fifth-placed Tottenham do not want to risk becoming cut off from the top four.

They trail Newcastle United and Manchester United by three points, having played one game more than both, raising the stakes for a rematch with City, a fortnight after Spurs squandered a 2-0 half-time lead and lost 4-2 to the same opposition at the Etihad Stadium.

Stellini said Tottenham are "scared, in the right way" about the game, expressing optimism the outcome can be different this time, with Richarlison fit to play and new recruit Pedro Porro in line for a possible debut.

"This is the game you are waiting for, and you want to play every time this type of game," Stellini said.

"The players are excited. I feel the players are so focused on this match. For sure, we have to be worried in the right way, speaking about not only [Erling] Haaland but all the team they have.

"It's a great team, maybe it's the greatest team in the world, and they fight every time to win a trophy.

"So we are scared, in the right way. We respect them, but we think we can repeat the same first half we had in the last game and we can do it for 90 minutes."

Antonio Conte says he is "already feeling better" after the Tottenham head coach underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder.

Conte was diagnosed with cholecystitis after beginning to suffer from severe abdominal pain, with the club announcing he would need to undergo surgery on Wednesday.

The Italian is now set to take a period of time away from football to recover. 

Following the surgery, Conte posted on his Instagram story, saying: "Thank you for your lovely messages, my surgery has gone well and I'm already feeling better.

"Now's time to recover, I can't wait to get back on the field with the team."

In his absence, Tottenham's assistant manager Cristian Stellini is expected to take charge with Spurs set to face Manchester City this Sunday.

The north London side then travel to face Leicester City the following weekend before the away first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie against Italian heavyweights Milan on February 14.

Spurs are fifth in the Premier League ahead of the weekend action, three points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United, who have played a game less.

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte is set for a brief absence from the club as he has surgery to remove his gallbladder.

Spurs announced on Wednesday that the Italian coach was recently diagnosed with cholecystitis after complaining of "severe abdominal pain".

He is set to go under the knife on the same day to have his gallbladder taken out, and this will be followed by a "period of recuperation".

Spurs did not outline how long they expect Conte to be away from first-team duties, but he will not be in the dugout for Sunday's visit of Manchester City.

According to the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), such a procedure can require up to five days in hospital and then roughly a month to "return to your normal activities".

That period can be twice as long "if you have a more manual job".

Tottenham head to Leicester City six days after the City game and then face Milan at the San Siro on February 14 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Spurs are fifth in the Premier League ahead of the weekend, three points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United, who have played a game less.

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte is desperate to help Harry Kane win a trophy with the club because he believes success will give his records more validity.

Kane scored Spurs' winning goal in Monday's 1-0 victory at Fulham, with his strike seeing him equal Jimmy Greaves' goals record for the club.

The England striker now has 266 for Spurs, with just one more enough to write his name in the club's history books.

But, Kane, 29, is yet to win a trophy with Tottenham, who last enjoyed success in the EFL Cup 15 years ago.

The atmosphere around Spurs has been poor lately following chastening defeats to Manchester City and rivals Arsenal, but Conte is trying to focus on the positives.

"For sure, I would like to help him and me, also his team-mates, to try to do something important, to win something with Tottenham because he loves Tottenham," Conte told reporters.

"Tottenham is in his heart and it should be good if together we were able to win something, because then it is important to have this record, but I think it could be more important if you win a trophy."

Conte also revealed Kane's match-winning display came despite him not being 100 per cent.

"Today he was amazing," Conte added. "I think he scored a fantastic goal, the execution, to control the ball, then to kick it in that way, only a world-class striker can score this goal.

"About the spirit that I spoke before, I want to underline Harry played with a fever and he was not so good [in terms of condition], but he wanted to play because he understood the moment.

"He understood he is a point of reference for us, for me, for the other players and, with Hugo [Lloris], they are the two players who are a point of reference for the dressing room. Today I am really happy because I think he was rewarded with a goal."

Conte's hope of winning a trophy with Kane remains a fair way off, however.

While they are into the last 16 of the Champions League, success in Europe would be a massive shock.

Domestically they are 14 points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal, whom they have also played two games more than, and they were knocked out of the EFL Cup in November.

The FA Cup – which pits them against Preston North End on Saturday – represents their only realistic hope of a trophy this season, and Conte is urging his players to have belief.

"I think that we have to be dreamers," he said. "I spoke to the players and said today has to be a starting point for us.

"Often in the defeats you can learn more than in a win. After the games against City and especially Arsenal, it was important to make good reflections with my players and know that we lost something from last season, not offensively but we lost something defensively.

"When I pick defensively, I want to involve the whole team, so for this reason I spoke to all the players to show me the resilience, the desire to defend the result. I have intelligent players, smart players and good men and I think today that they gave me a good answer. It has to be a starting point.

"On Saturday we want to go to the next round [of the FA Cup]. To go away to a Championship team is not easy, but to be a dreamer we have to know this is an important game for us.

"The FA Cup can be important for us, and the Champions League and 17 games to go in the Premier League. If I see this unity, we have time to have another good season."

Harry Kane wants to repay Antonio Conte with victories after a pivotal team meeting with the Tottenham head coach before the striker's record-equalling goal downed Fulham.

The England captain moved level with Jimmy Greaves' all-time scoring record of 266 goals for Spurs after his pinpoint first-half finish proved the difference in a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage.

While a deadly finish will go down in the record books for Kane, victory moved Conte's side within three points of the Premier League's top four, albeit having played a game more.

After a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal and a 4-2 loss at Manchester City, Kane revealed Spurs players held discussions with Conte and those conversations paid off in London on Monday.

The Tottenham talisman told Sky Sports: "[Conte]'s been through a difficult time outside of football with his personal life. Being part of a team isn't just the players, it's the manager, the staff and being there for each other.

"We want to win every game for him. He puts so much passion into every training session. And we want to repay him with victories.

"We had a good meeting amongst ourselves with the manager in the week just to talk and get back. We are going to keep fighting, like the manager.

"He is a passionate manager and we just have to keep working hard for him."

Spurs were largely up against it in the first half against Fulham, who missed the chance to leapfrog Tottenham into fifth, as Hugo Lloris denied Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Willian and Harrison Reed.

However, Kane's killer instinct was enough to secure all three points and he hailed his side for returning to the basics that saw them qualify for the Champions League last season.

"We dug deep, it was a tough week but this is a good 1-0 win," he added.

"It's been difficult, whenever you give away a two-goal lead at half-time [against City] it's always harder to take. We wanted to get back to basics, clean sheets are really important for us if we're going to stay in the Champions League spots.

"We had to be compact, suffer together at times and we knew we'd get chances. We went back to what got us into the Champions League last year. It was a good sign."

Antonio Conte called on Tottenham to use their victory over Fulham as a "starting point to give everything" in their bid for Champions League qualification.

Harry Kane matched Jimmy Greaves' all-time scoring record for Spurs as Conte's side responded to back-to-back defeats against Arsenal and Manchester City with a 1-0 win at Fulham on Monday.

The manner of the losses to the two Premier League title challengers had caused concerns after a timid 2-0 defeat to the Gunners and 4-2 reverse at City in which Spurs surrendered a two-goal lead.

Head coach Conte says his side must take victory over Fulham, which moved Spurs within three points of the top four, as a benchmark for starting to correct underwhelming form after the World Cup break.

He told Sky Sports: "I got a good answer from my players. We needed a game of solidity like last season. They had the desire to fight and to be serious.

"We showed, when we play as a team, it's very difficult to play against us. I have been happy with the performances, but we had two losses against Arsenal and City.

"Today has to be a starting point to give everything. We have 17 games left; we have to see what happens.

"We have to try to stay in the race for the Champions League, to try in the FA Cup and do the same in the Premier League. It was important to speak and explain the situation compared to last season.

"We are continuing to score, but conceding 21 goals in only 10 games wasn't positive. For this reason, I had a good answer and response from my players."

The omens may be good for Spurs, given they have exactly the same number of wins (11), draws (three), defeats (seven) and points (36) as they did after 21 Premier League games last term when they finished fourth.

Reports persist around the supposedly fractured relationship between Conte and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, but the Italian insisted he is "proud" to coach the club as he aims for another top-four finish.

"I am really proud to be Tottenham manager. I had the possibility of being the manager of an important club, it makes me proud and this has to be clear to everybody," Conte added.

"For this reason, I want to fight until the end with my players. In the last period, we were sleeping maybe because we were losing some characteristics from last season.

"I spoke with my players, and I have good players but especially good men. They understand we have to fight until the end for important positions, we have to be ready to suffer.

"When I accepted to become Tottenham manager, I was happy, and I am happy. In every moment and every second of my day, my first thought is for my players and club to improve, to make our fans proud of the team.

"The Premier League is not simple, it is difficult and there are many clubs ready to spend a lot of money on their team.

"We are in the right direction, then we will see. The most important thing for me is to work with my players and to have a good relationship with the club."

Antonio Conte is relaxed and content at Tottenham, shrugging off the suggestion he felt under pressure.

Spurs have lost their last two Premier League matches, going down 2-0 to Arsenal in the north London derby and 4-2 at Manchester City.

Those defeats have left Tottenham six points off the Champions League places, though they could close that gap by beating Fulham on Monday.

Conte has often bristled over Spurs' transfer dealings, but he claimed he is not feeling any pressure at the club, though he hinted if Tottenham's hierarchy are unhappy, then they must make a change.

"The club put pressure on me to make progress? I am here and you can see the club see every day my work, what I do with my staff and I have zero problem," Conte said in a press conference.

"I have zero problem with this aspect. I am really, really relaxed about this aspect because I know my work here, but also I think on the pitch you can see my work every day and this is my last problem.

"I have zero, zero problems. If the club is happy, I'm happy. If the club is unhappy, I am sorry, it means that I am not so good for them."

Spurs bolstered Conte's squad ahead of the season but are yet to make any additions in January.

However, Chelsea, one of the teams who might well be challenging Spurs for a European spot this season, have spent big this month.

It was put to Conte that his old team's huge expenditure is making it even harder to bring players to Tottenham, but the Italian reiterated his desire for someone above him at the club to discuss the transfer strategy.

"I don't want to go into this situation because I have a lot of headaches," he said.

"I think that at the end of the transfer market, probably the club will explain our transfer market, [like] I asked last time, our vision, the way that we are at this moment.

"I think it'll be good also to have another person to explain to you, otherwise in this type of question the risk to cross a line is easy.

"Now we have to try to be focused, continue to improve, to continue to work."

Additional issues have been caused at Spurs by their sporting director, Fabio Paratici, having been handed a long ban from Italian football.

Paratici has been punished due to Juventus' financial irregularities during his time at the club.

The decision whether to expand his suspension across other leagues and competitions now lies with FIFA.

Antonio Conte believes Tottenham have collectively forgotten how to "suffer" and grind out results after their capitulation against Manchester City.

Spurs blew a two-goal lead at the interval to slide to defeat against the Premier League champions on Thursday, going down to a 4-2 loss at the Etihad Stadium.

The result keeps the north London outfit well adrift of the top four, with a five-point gap between them and fourth-placed Newcastle United, with the Magpies also possessing a game in hand.

For Conte, whose long-term future at Tottenham remains a cloudy prospect, the manager thinks his side have lost their readiness to battle through the difficult moments this season, and he challenged them to show a "nasty" streak.

The Spurs spirit will next be put to the test at Fulham on Monday evening, with the Cottagers just two points adrift of Tottenham.

"I think that maybe we have to improve the spirit, the collaboration, the will and the desire to suffer," Conte said. "Maybe we have forgotten to suffer and to understand that.

"If we want to win the game, sometimes you have to stay there to suffer and defend the result, [with] the will and desire to not concede a goal."

Defeat to City marked a third loss in five Premier League games since Tottenham returned to domestic action following the mid-season World Cup break.

A draw with Brentford and a victory over Crystal Palace have been their other results, along with an unconvincing FA Cup win over third-tier Portsmouth.

Conte remains insistent he is seeing improvement from his side up to a point, saying: "I think that we are making progress in my opinion, in my mind, in some aspects.

"[But] in other aspects, I think that we have to come back like last season and be a bit more solid, a bit more focused, a bit more nasty.

"I think that we have to try to find the same solidity as last season and to learn again to suffer at the moment that we have to suffer. I think that we are [headed] in the right direction from my experience."

Tottenham are "going in the right direction" despite their dramatic Premier League collapse to Manchester City, but Antonio Conte acknowledges they are "not ready" yet.

Spurs took a two-goal lead into the interval of their Thursday encounter with the champions, only to wildly capitulate in a poor second half showing on the way to a 4-2 loss.

It means they have posted just one win from five league games since Christmas, to see the club slip out of the top four and away from the fringes of the title race.

Defeat to City highlights Tottenham's shortcomings for Conte, but the Italian is adamant they are also showcasing growth despite difficult results.

"In this moment, we are not ready to fight for important achievements," he said. "There are other teams more ready than us.

"We are working hard and going in the right direction. In one or two years, we will win this type of games. If I have to compare this game with last season, we played much better today.

"The performance was good. We played with personality, we created problems for City. Today, we were really brave, but compared to last season, we are conceding too many goals.

"You have to try to justify the goals that we are conceding. This is a period we are not so lucky in. [But] you don't buy experience. We have to build [it] year by year."

Ahead of his side's game with Chelsea, Conte acknowledged he was taking stock of his career following the deaths of several close friends and colleagues in recent months.

The passing of Gian Piero Ventrone, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli has affected the Italian, but speaking after the full-time whistle, he insisted he remains focused on the task at hand with Spurs.

"I think that we have to try to understand that we are talking about two different situations," he added. "This situation is my personal situation.

"[There] will be time to make the right decision for me, for the future, for my family, but this situation doesn't affect the work and doesn't affect the team. I'm really focused."

Antonio Conte believes it is unfair to ask him whether Harry Kane is frustrated with Tottenham's progress.

The head coach says there are reasons to be encouraged by how Spurs are developing, and he does not consider himself the person that should face questions about England captain Kane.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's Premier League game against Manchester City, the club that had their eyes on Kane 18 months ago, Conte took issue when a reporter asked whether star striker Kane might be frustrated by a lack of investment and advances.

Tottenham sit fifth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Newcastle United, needing a big second half of the season to stake a claim for Champions League football next term.

"When we organise the [press] conference with the club, you can ask," Conte said. "You can ask this question to the club. Keep these questions for the future and I hope for you that this does happen one day so that you can make this question to the club.

"It's not disrespectful to you, but I repeat we are always saying the same thing. Why do I always have to answer difficult questions and you try with this question or put me in difficulty with the club, with the environment?

"I hope you understand that I don't want to create problems because I always say that I like the way that we are working here, what we are doing, and stop, because in the past I think that I said a lot."

Kane is one short of matching Jimmy Greaves' goals record for Spurs, which stands at 266, and two away from reaching 200 goals in the Premier League. He is under contract until the end of next season.

Conte was also asked whether he might consider changing his formation or tactics. He has been favouring wing-backs and is not against switching to a different system, but the former Juventus boss believes the 3-4-3 shape is one that suits Tottenham the best for now.

"You have to know that when you put the best players on the pitch, you don't have on the bench the possibility to change the game," Conte said. "But in my career, I played with four [in defence] and I won two championships with 4-2-4.

"And then at Juventus, I started this way. At Chelsea, I started to play with the 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, and then I changed it because the characteristic of the players was not so good to play with four at the back.

"And when I arrived last season at Tottenham, I found the solution for the characteristic of the players. In my opinion, that this is the best solution for the characteristic of the players but in the future, probably, we can try but if we lose I'll justify [it]."

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte is questioning his long-term future after a traumatic period following the deaths of three close friends, Gian Piero Ventrone, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli.

The 53-year-old Italian hinted that his stint as Spurs boss, where he has a year-long extension on his deal that expires at the end of this season, could be drawing to a close.

Conte worked closely with Ventrone as Spurs fitness coach, before his passing in October. Mihajlovic and Vialli are former club and country teammates who passed away in December and January respectively too.

"This season is a difficult season under personal aspect because to lose three people I knew very well, first Giampiero, then Sinisa and now Gianluca, it was not simple," Conte told reporters.

"When this kind of situation happens, they bring you to have important reflection. Because many times we think and we give a lot of importance to our work and we forget the family.

"We forget that we can all have we need, to have more time for us. The season is a difficult season for me on the personal aspect, and this season is making me to have important reflection about my future."

Conte, who took over at Tottenham in November 2021, resides away from his family in Italy but flies back when possible. His daughter Vittoria is studying for exams, with wife Elisabetta remaining in Rome with her to assist her education.

"You understand that when you work and the work is at the top of your mind in your head, and maybe many times we forget to stay with family, we forget to spend time with friends," he said.

"But this is our passion. And for the passion, we lose a lot of thoughts and when this kind of situation happens, I think that you start to think that maybe sometimes it's also good to give more time to your family and your friends and also to yourself. That work is not everything in life."

The Italian added that living away from family during such a traumatic period had taken its toll on him.

"Having my family in Italy is not good," he said. "But when you have a son or daughter or kids [going to] school, you have to respect them because if every year or every two seasons you have to move your kids and totally change the environment, I don't want to affect the life of my family.

"Sometimes it's important to make decision or to sacrifice [your job] and to stay [with them], but I have a family that try to support me and be here in every moment they can. This kind of situation becomes more difficult when things like this happen like with Gianluca, Giampiero and Sinisa."

Tottenham, whom Conte guided to fourth spot last season, are fifth in the Premier League with 33 points from 19 games, while they have qualified for the Champions League last-16 where they will face Milan.

Spurs face champions Manchester City in the league on Thursday amid a run of eight games before the end of February.

Antonio Conte believes there is a "bad habit" in English football of sporting directors not having to address the media.

Conte's Tottenham lost 2-0 to north London rivals Arsenal on Sunday and face Manchester City in their next Premier League outing on Thursday.

Spurs have won only one of their last four league games and are five points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, having played a game more than Erik ten Hag’s team.

Conte has regularly suggested he wants more signings to bolster Tottenham's squad, despite a spending splurge in the last transfer window.

However, the Italian suggested sporting directors or directors of football should also face the press, as they do in his homeland, rather than just managers.

"In England I think there's a bad habit that it's only the coach talks and explains. I've never seen the medical department coming here to explain," he said in a press conference on Tuesday, seemingly referring to Fabio Paratici, Spurs' managing director of football.

"It's the same, I've never seen the club nor the sporting director coming here to explain the strategy of the club. In Italy, before every game there's a person from the club that goes to speak to the media.

"I think for us it could be better, otherwise there is only one face to explain the situation that I think is better for the club to explain. In Italy it's different.

"Otherwise, it means that only if the coach talks there can be a misunderstanding. I think it could be good for the club to be present in the media.

"Not every week, but at least every 15 days or once a month. I think it could be more simple for you to understand and not always the same. Otherwise, it can seem if something is a criticism or negative and it's not the case."

While Conte would no doubt like to add to his ranks in January, Spurs have plenty of world-class talent to call on.

One of those players, Son Heung-min, has struggled to replicate the form he showed last season, scoring just four league goals in 17 appearances.

"Last season he scored 25 goals," Conte said of Son. "This season he's not scoring so much. For us it's not good news because we count on his goals.

"We are not talking about robots, but about a person – a human. I'm the first to hope that Sonny starts to score with the pressure or without the pressure."

Antonio Conte was disappointed but conceded Arsenal deserved to be leading the Premier League after a commanding 2-0 victory at Tottenham.

Arsenal moved eight points clear at the Premier League summit after their first win at their north London rivals since 2014, with Hugo Lloris' inexplicable own goal and Martin Odegaard's strike the difference.

Spurs had their own chances against the league-leading Gunners, with Aaron Ramsdale making fine stops to deny Son Heung-min and Harry Kane amid his seven saves in the match.

Tottenham have conceded at least two goals in five consecutive home league games for the first time since August 1992, but Conte refused to criticise his players after another disappointing showing.

"We wanted to deliver and get a result for our fans because we know how important this type of game is for them," the Spurs head coach told BBC's Match of the Day. 

"This game was also important for us and to improve the table. I am disappointed with the result. We started well and started in a strong way and then we conceded a goal.

"Football is strange and sometimes a situation happens, it is very difficult to explain. We had a good chance to equalise with Sonny but the Arsenal keeper made a fantastic save.

"The second goal could kill everybody. I have to be happy with the reaction. They stayed there with their head and mind, and I asked for that.

"In this sort of game you can lose the mind and concede many goals but instead we created chances. We continued to have a good balance and didn't concede great chances.

"We have to be disappointed and for our fans. Arsenal deserve to stay top of the table and fight to win the Premier League. They and Manchester City are the two title contenders."

Tottenham have lost four home Premier League games this season, Conte's joint-highest tally of such defeats in a single league campaign (also 2017-18 with Chelsea and 2007-08 with Bari).

That turgid run of home form, coupled with some underwhelming away performances, has left Spurs five points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United, who have played a game fewer.

Fulham, Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford are all within four points of Tottenham, and Conte knows a tough challenge awaits in the bid for European football.

He told Sky Sports: "We have to continue to work really hard and we will see our position at the end of the season. Be it the Champions League or Europa League.

"Teams like Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United, Newcastle, also Brighton and Brentford. It is really difficult because every team can spend money and even the middle or lower teams have international players."

The clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was somewhat marred by a fan kicking Ramsdale, who had just been confronted by Richarlison, after the full-time whistle.

"I didn't see it. I only see a big confusion and you are telling me now what happened," Conte added.

"If it happened, it is not good. We always have to show respect for an opponent and the players. I don't like it."

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