Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says Tottenham can challenge for the Premier League title after they ended his side's 13-game winning run with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.

Two Dele Alli headers inflicted a first defeat on Chelsea since September and left Spurs seven points back in third.

"Tottenham are a really strong team and are, for sure, one of the teams that can fight for the title," Conte said.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino said Spurs "can challenge for the big things".

Tottenham were Leicester's closest title challengers for much of the run-in last season – moving to within five points with four games left – but eventually finished third behind Arsenal after a stuttering finish.

This season they are unbeaten at home in the Premier League and Pochettino, 44, says that consistency will be the key to success at the top of the table.

He said: "The top four is very competitive. There are a lot of games to play but this result is very important for us.

"We showed in our performance we can be competitive and we can achieve big things but it is also true you have to do this regularly and show consistency during the whole season."

Conte had not seen his side drop points in 101 days since a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal but said he must be satisfied with his team being five points clear at the top after 20 games.

"We knew that defeat could happen before the game," he said. "It is a pity to stop this run, but Tottenham fought last season and they can fight also this year.

"Don't forget we lost to a good team. They are one of the six teams who can fight for the title.

"We must work hard and be pleased with our position in the table, but know this league is tough until the end."

 

BBC