Tags Posts tagged with "Antonio Conte"

Antonio Conte

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Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) celebrates with Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (C) after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Huddersfield Town and Chelsea at the John Smith's stadium in Huddersfield, northern England on December 12,

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte explained reasons behind his decision to take off Willian and Tiemoue Bakayoko earlier in the second half. The Spanish winger scored a vital goal in yesterday’s 1-2 win over the Foxes at King Power Stadium.

About Willian, Conte said: “He was very tired, he played a fantastic game with and without the game. He is in a fantastic physical condition. I am very pleased with him, but we decided to take this decision”. 

“The same for [Andreas] Christensen. After the Barcelona game we spent a lot of energy and played 120 minutes tonight.”

And about Bakayoko: “Baka got a yellow card, and we are talking about a player with great physicality. In a game like this, you have to prevent a second yellow card. For this reason, I decided to change him.”

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Chelsea face Leicester City in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals and official line-ups have been announced:

CHELSEA – Caballero; Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard

Subs: Eduardo, Cahill, Zappacosta, Emerson, Fabregas, Pedro, Giroud

Manager: Antonio Conte

LEICESTER – Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan (c), Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Iborra, Mahrez, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Vardy

Subs: Hamer, Fuchs, Dragović, Silva, Gray, Okazaki, Diabaté

Manager: Claude Puel

Kick-Off: 4.30 BST

Venue: King Power Stadium

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Antonio Rudiger spoke ahead of FA Cup clash between Chelsea and Leicester City at King Power Stadium.

The German defender, who has been recently nominated for the German Football Ambassador 2018 award, believes Chelsea fans can play an important role tomorrow (4.30PM BST): “That amount of people is very big support for an away game and it’s important for us to give something back to them” he told the club’s official website.

Chelsea faced the Foxes twice in the current campaign, collecting a win (1-2) and a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in January. Rudiger added: “First of all, it’s going to be a battle. Leicester will try to give us a tough time and we will have to be mentally strong but we won’t be looking for excuses. Yes, we played a few days ago and of course there may be some tiredness, but we have to go there and show the right mentality”.

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill, as well as forward Alvaro Morata, (Spain) has not been selected in the England squad to face Holland and Italy next week. Antonio Conte believes the defender deserves to be called in Gareth Southgate‘s final selection to play the World Cup in Russia next summer.

Conte told Chelsea’s official website: “For sure you are talking about a really good player, with great quality as a player and also human qualities. It is difficult for me with my past to speak about the decisions of the manager of the national team. We have to respect, also because this is not the final call for the World Cup. Maybe the manager wants to try or find out new solutions. There are a lot of thoughts in the mind of the coach before preparing the final list, and you have to try to have a very clear mind”.

“This is the last opportunity for the managers of the national teams to explore new situations. Gary is a player who for his experience and for the quality of the player and the person, I hope he goes in the national team and plays another World Cup. Usually with the national team, you can call also players who are not playing with regularity. When I was coach with the national team, it happened because I trusted in the players and it can happen that when a player is with a great team with a lot of competition, you can stay on the bench”.

Also Alvaro Morata has a clear chance to be included in Spain National Team again, according to the Italian manager: “I understand it is a hard time but there is only one way, to work hard and show that you deserve to play for the national. team That is the only way, not to complain, and I can help them to improve and to work very hard and show that they deserve to go”.

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Chelsea and Antonio Conte are likely to part ways at the end of this campaign.

The Blues heavy defeat against Barcelona at the Camp Nou has confirmed that the paths of the Premier League club and the former Juventus coach will separate once the season is over.

As reported by Italian outlet Tuttosport, the relationship between Conte and the club’s board has been damaged for months due to disagreements on the transfer market and the lack of results this season has done the rest.

So, while Conte is preparing to live the last months as head coach at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea directors have reportedly already chosen former FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique as a replacement for the Italian gaffer for the season 2018/19.

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claimed he will do everything to play another semifinal and final at Wembley this season.

Last year his team beat Spurs in the semifinal and then was defeated by Arsenal in the final:

This is a great competition one of the most important in the world,” the Italian coach said.

“Last season we were very good to reach the final at Wembley, playing the quarter finals against Manchester United and semifinal against Spurs. Now we will try to do the same.

“To win a trophy in England is always very tough, before winning it you know that you have to face strong teams. In this competition there are United and Tottenham but also other teams that want to try to make the history in the cup

“I think every trophy is important for us, we started the season to try to fight until the end for every competition, in the Carabao Cup we were in the semifinal, in the Champions League we reached the last 16, if we win we can play another semifinal at Wembley in this competition, this must be our target.

“To try to go to next round to reach the semifinal in the FA Cup won’t be easy, Leicester are a good team, in the last game we played agains them at home we suffered. We will do our best to qualify for the next Champions League, we still have targets.”

Asked who is the favourite goalkeeper to start on Sunday, Conte replied:

“I think that we’re talking about two good goalkeepers, Thibaut [Courtois] and Willy [Caballero], tomorrow I will try to make the best decision, because we want to go to next round.”

Eden Hazard has failed to score in the last three games:

“Maybe he could score on Sunday,” Conte replied.

On tomorrow’s rivals:

“We’re talking about a team that two years ago won the title, they want to fight a lot, we suffered a lot in the last game, we ran a lot, they are dangerous, we must pay great attention to them.

“Special plans are to try to defend well, we all know Vardy‘s characterstics, he’s very clever, he’s good in finding the right time to attack the space. They have other dangerous players like Ineacho and Okazaki.”

Speaking about the Champions League knock out against Barcelona he said:

“It was a pity to go out, especially because we made two good performances, we have to try move on.

“It’s true we played against Barcelona the other night, but we could rest, so I will pick up the best solution for Sunday’s game.”




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Latest Chelsea signing Olivier Giroud believes his decision to leave Arsenal to join the Premier League champions was “definitely the best choice” for development and professional career in English football.

The Frenchman told Standard Sport: “I am settling in quite well. I am very pleased with my understanding with the boys. Obviously, not everything is perfect but I try to be that target man that the boss asks me to be. To be a link with the number 10s, tonight it was Hazard and Willian. It is not easy to sign in winter for a new club so I try to adapt myself as quickly as I can.

“I think there’s always room for improvement but I am quite happy with what we are doing on the pitch. We have good team cohesion. I think if we play with the spirit we did tonight we can achieve got things at the end of the championship”.

“I want to be at my best level now, I am working hard in training to be ready. Of course, sometimes you can close your eyes and score and sometimes the goal gets smaller like the other game against Palace. Trust me, I keep working hard and I am doing my best to reach my targets. So you can count on me to do my best, to be at my best level as soon as I can.”

The Frenchman, when asked if Chelsea are targeting the FA Cup as their main goal ahead of next clash against Leicester City, added: “I did well in the FA Cup with my old team Arsenal. I had a good past, but I want to arrive in the final with Chelsea. When I first came to England I knew the FA Cup was very special for the fans. It’s basically the oldest competition in football so it’s massive and I’ve been lucky enough to win three of them.

“I am unbeaten at Wembley and to win the FA Cup there is massive. Wembley is an amazing stadium and the atmosphere is always special, the pitch is fantastic, so everything is there for you to have a good game. Hopefully, we can get there again this year. I’m at Chelsea to win trophies and the FA Cup is the one we can win.”

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois gave a positive update on his contract situation at Stamford Bridge after some reports suggested a possible move to La Liga giants Real Madrid, with also PSG reportedly interested in placing a bid for the 25-year-old. The Belgian’s deal currently expires in June 2019, as Courtois himself confirmed: I have a contract until next year and I will be here. I will do my best for it, I am committed to Chelsea” he told Standard Sport.

“Obviously there is no extension signed but I don’t think now is the moment to do it. I think it is better to wait until the end of the season. All I can say is I’m committed to Chelsea and also committed for next year. I have no other thing to say. It’s easy when you have only one year remaining that other people might say something”. 

Then he added: “I’m a bit annoyed by it because it’s a talking point and it’s a thing people went to dwell on. But I think the focus now should be on winning our League games to get a top four finish and back in the Champions League for next season as well as going through in the FA Cup. That’s the most important thing and is what we have to do”.

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Speaking to Italian television after Barcelona v Chelsea, Antonio Conte revealed what he said to Leo Messi after the final whistle on the pitch:

“They were mainly congratulations, we speak about a player who always makes the difference and decides the scores, he was decisive in these two games,” the Italian coach claimed.

Then he continued speaking of the tie and the elimination:

“I think the 4 posts hit in the two matches marked a difference, we weren’t very lucky – and it wasn’t the first time in this season- I think tonight’s score is unfair, we created many chances and they scored 3 goals in 3 counter-attacks, they were really cynical: this team is playing Champions League for the first time, it’s a young team and there is much work to do.”

Asked if he needs a trophy like FA Cup to stay at Chelsea, Conte replied:

“It’s not to win something or not, a coach’s job must be judged not by the wins but by what you see, to the team’s growth, we can do better in all the aspects: I don’t look for confirmation through the victories but I go ahead because I know it’s a hard work.

Conte was then asked why he preferred to started Giroud rather than Morata:


“I see the players every day and I know who feels better psychologically and physically.

“We are speaking of a young player [Morata]  that had the chance to be a starter for the first time during this season. In Real Madrid he was Benzema‘s reserve and the same he was for other strikers at Juventus. He’s got some qualities and we are trying to improve him. This season had a back problem that limited him.”


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He hadn’t scored a single goal to Chelsea until the first leg at Stamford Bridge one month ago, now Leo Messi ends this tie with 3 goals scored to the Blues that are bringing the Blaugrana to the quarter finals.

Conte’s lads didn’t even have the time to adapt to the majesty of Camp Nou tonight as Messi netted the ball at the very first chance after a couple of minutes: Chelsea were unlucky as a rebound by Alonso in the box eased Suarez’s assist to the Argentine star, who beat a guilty Courtois, who let the ball pass between his legs.

The Blues tried to react but after 17′ minutes they were punished again: it was always Messi, really on fire tonight, that steal a ball in the midfield to his former team-mate Fabregas, who dithered too much while controlling the ball: La Pulga speeded up dribbled past Christensen and Azpilicueta and, suddenly, he was at the box limit, giving a perfect assist to Dembelé, who scored the 2-0 with a perfect diagonal shot at the posts cross.

Chelsea reaction this time was timid, the Blues gave the impression to have been knocked out by the second goal and the only Willian seemed to have something to show on the pitch.

In the end of the first part Marcos Alonso even hit the external part of the post on a free-kick, but it was the only real dangerous chance of the Blues in the first 85 minutes.

In the beginning of the second half Chelsea seemed more determined to try to level the points, with a 2-2 that would have meant quarter finals for Conte’s side, and the Blues could complaint for possible penalty denied by referee Skomina for a foul by Piqué on Marcos Alonso.

But in their best moment Chelsea were punished again and, again, by alien Messi: Suarez ran into a space left by Chelsea defence and assisted Messi, who beat another time Courtois, that let the ball pass between his legs also in this occasion!

The Belgian keeper then saved another couple of Barcelona efforts and in the latest minutes first Zappacosta ( who produced the first shot on target at 81′) then Rudiger ( who hit the post with a header) tried to save Chelsea honour in the Camp Nou.

This time, anyway, no crazy celebration as in 2012, with Messi leaving the pitch with 100th goals in the Champions League reached and hugged to Antonio Conte who, eventually, was not able to transmit the right malice to his team, that ended their Champions League journey tonight with bad a defeat on the old field of glory.



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