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Spurs beat Norwich to go fifth – but face season of hard work, says Conte


Lucas Moura scores for Tottenham against Norwich
Lucas Moura has scored 18 Premier League goals since joining Tottenham from Paris St-Germain for £23m in January 2018

Antonio Conte said Tottenham faced a season of “hard work” despite moving to within two points of a Champions League spot with a third successive Premier League win.

An outstanding goal by Lucas Moura helped propel fast-improving Spurs to victory over bottom club Norwich City.

Tottenham boss Conte, however, is not getting carried away after taking 10 points from his first four league games in charge.

“We have to build a solid base and a good foundation if we want to try to be competitive in the future and fight for something important,” said the Italian.

“I know for Tottenham, it will be a season of work. Hard work.”

Brazil forward Moura opened the scoring by finding the top corner from 25 yards following a move in which he beat two Norwich players and played a one-two with Son Heung-min.

Norwich should already have been ahead but Teemu Pukki fired straight at Hugo Lloris before Moura scored his first Premier League goal since February.

Davinson Sanchez doubled the lead, the Colombian defender lashing home as Norwich failed to deal with a corner before Son made it 3-0 with a neat finish.

At 1-0, Harry Kane missed a chance to score his first top-flight goal under Conte when he spotted Tim Krul off his line, but the England captain’s lob over the keeper fell wide of the target.

The Canaries are three points from safety after their first defeat under Dean Smith.

They missed a golden chance to equalise when 20-year-old Republic of Ireland forward Adam Idah fired wide from close range before Sanchez had made it 2-0.

Spurs moving forward under Conte

Tottenham were drifting in eighth spot in the table when they sacked Nuno Espirito Santo last month, but are now two points off a Champions League spot with a game in hand after leapfrogging north London rivals Arsenal.

Yet they are far from the dominant force Conte wants them to be, and remain a work in progress.

Spurs were fortunate not to concede, particularly when the defence opened up to allow Idah a chance he failed to take.

It proved a key moment as Spurs struck twice in the space of 10 minutes to take the game away from the Canaries.

While Conte knows there is plenty of hard work ahead, at least Spurs are building momentum and getting into the habit of winning matches.

While Kane’s lack of goals remain a talking point, Son is flourishing under Conte after finishing the game with a goal and an assist, while Conte is looking for Moura to add to his first Premier League goal since 28 February.

“I think he scored an amazing goal but he has the quality to score more goals – and he has to score more goals in the rest of the season,” added Conte.

Norwich punished for bad misses

This was Norwich boss Smith’s second defeat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this season after overseeing Aston Villa’s 2-1 loss at the venue before being sacked last month.

Smith will be encouraged by the number of opportunities his side created but will also wonder how his side did not score as Pukki, Idah and substitute Josh Sargent wasted good chances.

Having dropped to the bottom without playing on Saturday after Newcastle’s win over Burnley, the Canaries now have back-to-back home games.

Smith will spend the week with his players on the training pitch working on their finishing and defending before Manchester United’s visit next Saturday.

“The performance is a step in the right direction, the result aside,” said the Norwich boss. “We have to learn how to defend better, especially from set-pieces.”

Player of the match

Son Heung-MinSon Heung-Min

Norwich City

  1. Squad number8Player nameGilmour

  2. Squad number35Player nameIdah

  3. Squad number23Player nameMcLean

  4. Squad number22Player namePukki

  5. Squad number5Player nameHanley

  6. Squad number44Player nameOmobamidele

  7. Squad number21Player nameWilliams

  8. Squad number1Player nameKrul

  9. Squad number2Player nameAarons

  10. Squad number4Player nameGibson

  11. Squad number10Player nameDowell

  12. Squad number20Player nameLees-Melou

  13. Squad number19Player nameSørensen

  14. Squad number24Player nameSargent

Line-ups

Tottenham

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 15Dier
  • 33Davies
  • 25TangangaSubstituted forDohertyat 62′minutes
  • 29Skipp
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 3ReguilónBooked at 16minsSubstituted forR Sessegnonat 22′minutes
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forBergwijnat 80′minutes
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 10Kane

Substitutes

  • 2Doherty
  • 8Winks
  • 14Rodon
  • 19R Sessegnon
  • 20Alli
  • 22Gollini
  • 23Bergwijn
  • 28Ndombele
  • 44Scarlett

Norwich

Formation 5-3-2

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 44Omobamidele
  • 5Hanley
  • 4Gibson
  • 21Williams
  • 20Lees-MelouSubstituted forDowellat 72′minutes
  • 8GilmourBooked at 34minsSubstituted forSørensenat 81′minutes
  • 23McLean
  • 35IdahSubstituted forSargentat 69′minutes
  • 22PukkiBooked at 14mins

Substitutes

  • 7Rupp
  • 10Dowell
  • 14Cantwell
  • 15Kabak
  • 18Tzolis
  • 19Sørensen
  • 24Sargent
  • 28Gunn
  • 30Giannoulis

Referee:
Jarred Gillett

Attendance:
57,088

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