Tags Posts tagged with "Antonio Conte"

Antonio Conte

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Chelsea end their incredible 13-wins-in-row-run at White Hart Lane, where they lost 2-0 tonight against Tottenham, and now the title race is re-opened again.

Dele Alli beat the Blues with two perfect headers, one at 45+2 and one at 54′, with Antonio Conte‘s side that didn’t give the impression to try to give to come-back in the whole match.

Chelsea are, anyway, still top of the Premier League table with 49 points, while Liverpool sit second with 44, Spurs clib to third place with 42 after this win, the same as Manchester City, Arsenal remain fifth with 41 and Manchester United still sit 6th with 39 points.

Eden Hazard had the chance to score the 1-0 just three minutes into the game, but the Belgian shot slightly wide: this was practically the only moment Chelsea seemed to take over Spurs in the game, but soon Pochettino’s side took confidence and closed the Blues in their half of the pitch.

After a couple of wide shots and Courtois‘ miracle on Dier’s header Dele Alli finds the right corner with another header and beat the Belgian keeper, just some seconds before referee Martin Atkinson blows half time.

A deserved score for Pochettino‘s guys, that seemed to approach the game with a better attitude and with a strong will to win.

The same approach that Chelsea had the beginning of the second part, when the Blues tried to come-back and equalise, but Dele Alli’s second perfect header practically closed the game.

Antonio Conte‘s side tried to react but they to have lees motivation and to have no more strength to put the match in the right direction.

Tottenham open again the Premier League title race after this win ending Chelsea impressive run of 13 wins in a row, probably a little revenge after the Blues made them lose the title last May, when Leicester City won the title after the 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.

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Antonio Conte spoke to Sky Sports minutes before Spurs derby kick-off, this is what the Blues boss said:

“This will be a tough game, for sure, but I hope we can continue our wins run, it’s important to do a good performance here.

“The record? No, it’s important to win to continue our run and 3 points that would be really important for our table. 

“Of course 13 wins in a row is a great achievement for us and we want to continue but we also know that Tottenham are a really strong team.

“Looking at the players in Tottenham line-up I think they could play with a 3-4-3 like us, but we will see on the pitch which will be their real tactical system.”

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Victor Moses challenging Spurs star Harry Kane in November 2016 game at Stamford Bridge © Francesca Ceciarini

SPURS – Lloris (C), Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Kane

Subs: Vorm, Davies, Trippier, Wimmer, Sissoko, Winks, Son

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

 

CHELSEA – Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard.

Subs: Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Chalobah, Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

 

Kick Off: 8 pm GMT

Venue: White Hart Lane, London, UK

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes that his side has several similarities to next Blues’ rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

When asked about Mauricio Pochettino, Conte underlined his point of view: “We like to play from the back, to play with possession and to prepare different solutions to go and score goals”,

“After every action, there is always the work behind it. My players must be clinical, not me on the bench, because they have the opportunity to score and do the movements you prepare during the week”.

Then Conte added: “Tottenham in this part of the season were unlucky in some games, now there is this difference in the table only because we did an incredible run”.

“We have great respect for them and we showed this in the first game against them. Then it’s normal during the game you want to beat your opponent. It will be so tomorrow”.

Juventus earned 12 straight league wins under Conte’s management, while Chelsea (13 wins after Stoke City clash) are approaching Arsenal‘s Premier League record with 14 wins in a row.

“In the last season we finished with 102 points, a record in Italy. It was a fantastic championship. At that moment in the Italian league there was only Roma to try to fight for the title”.

Conte ended: “Here there is a different situation because there are six very strong teams that last season were placed above us, and also spent a lot of money. For this reason, I think it’s more difficult here now to keep this position”.

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Chelsea are set to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane tonight, when Antonio Conte will try to continue the Blues’ positive trend so far.

Venue: White Hart Lane

Kick-Off:  8pm BST on Wednesday 4th January

Tottenham

  • Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen, who both missed last clash against Watford, are now available after being suspended;
  • Moussa Sissoko is expected to start in midfield;
  • Erik Lamela remains out of squad due to a long-term injury.

Chelsea

  • Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas will battle for a place in midfield;
  • Pedro is now available after suspension, with Willian in great shape;
  • Marcos Alonso is still in doubt and Conte admitted he’ll make a final decision today.

Predicted LineUps

TOTTENHAM – Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Rose, Dier, Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Kane

CHELSEA – Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Kante, Matic, Alonso, Moses, Hazard, Pedro, Costa

 

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Speaking to Sky Sport Italia in an exclusive interview, Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo stated that Antonio Conte was always the Blues first choice after the club parted ways with José Mourinho one year ago:

“I approached him when he was Italy’s coach and he was always our first choice, despite the club having contacted other managers.

“He works really hard and everyone loves him at Chelsea, the players love him and we love him as well.

“I was surprised by his capacity to turn everything into positive and by his energy, passion. 

“There is a chance he can stay here forever.”

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Diego Costa shows his passion celebrating the winner against WBA © Francesca Ceciarini

Diego Costa revealed he was close to leave Chelsea last summer and this how his manager, Antonio Conte, reacted to this while speaking to NCB Sports:

“When Diego decided to stay, he said he wanted to fight for this club and for his shirt. I wasn’t concerned,” the Italian boss said.

“He is showing great patience in the right way, in every moment of the game. We are happy for this. He is completely focused on the game.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte reveals that Marcos Alonso will be available for tomorrow’s derby against Spurs despite picking up a small injury against Stoke City in the New Year’s Eve’s game.

“Yes, he’s available for tomorrow,” he said when asked about the Spanish wing-back.”

The Italian manager also revealed that another centre-back, David Luiz, has been playing in the same condition for a month:

“David is playing in this situation [with pain] after the game against Manchester City. Now, I think he’s improving.

“Now he’s getting better, his physical condition and his pain is improving a lot.”

Conte will have to put one among Pedro and Willian on the bench tomorrow, but he’s happy to have the problem to take this decision:

“I prefer to have this problem and for sure now we have Pedro or Willian, Hazard, Diego Costa.

“They are in good form, they are in good shape. I have to decide the starting eleven. But I think you win the game in 95 minutes and it’s important to have all my players available.”

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Chelsea are confident they can beat Arsenal to sign Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez this month, according to reports in England.

The Switzerland international is contracted until June 2019 and Chelsea are reportedly lining up a £21m bid to land the left-back  to Stamford Bridge.

With Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta in that position, Rodriguez could represent a new back-up in Antonio Conte‘s five-man midfield.

Conte is said to be interested also in Genoa midfielder Diego Laxalt as Chelsea could place a huge bid for the Uruguayan star next summer.

 

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Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, speaking to Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, described Antonio Conte‘s work at Stamford Bridge as ‘extraordinary’.

The current Bayern Munich manager, who led Chelsea to the Premier League title and FA Cup in the 2009/2010 campaign, said: “Conte is doing an extraordinary job at Chelsea,”

“He has determination, ideas, personality and experience. He’s mature as a coach now and I’m truly happy for him” Ancelotti added.

Conte will try to extend the Blues’ positive trend against Tottenham tomorrow night, with Chelsea currently five points clear at the top of Premier League table with still one game in hand.

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