Tags Posts tagged with "Antonio Conte"

Antonio Conte

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ChelseaManchester United and Manchester City will challenge in the race to land Celtic star Moussa Dembele to England, according to the Express.

The 20-year-old is said to have a £40m price-tag as he joined the Scottish side a few months ago from Fulham.

The 19-year-old joined the Scottish side from Fulham on a four-year contract a few months ago.

“Dembele is a sought-after striker with top teams in the Premier League wanting him” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers recently said.

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It was a happy Antonio Conte the one that spoke after the fourth win a row, and four clean sheets, in the Premier League, today against Southampton:

“I’m delighted, for sure, I  saw a lot of positive things, above all because we played against a strong team also in a good moment of form. To come here and win wasn’t easy, I said that on Friday.

“I’m pleased with the commitment and work-rate. The players worked very hard during the game with and without the ball. This is the right way to reach great satisfaction in this championship.

“We created many chances, and also for four games we have kept clean sheets. It means our confidence is increasing. The players deserve this. I see them every day, the way they are working. It’s important to arrive at this type of result because they can trust the work more, but we know the road is long and it’s important to continue to work very hard to improve.

‘It wasn’t an easy game today but to stay close to first place is good. It gives us great confidence.’

Conte praised his forwards:

“When you see Eden and Diego, and Pedro, working very hard during the game, you are happy. They are strikers and usually it’s a bit difficult for the strikers to work for the team, but their commitment and work-rate is fantastic.’

The Italian boss analysed again the performances of the two full-backs, Alonso and Victor Moses:

“This role is very important in this system. You must have good stamina and quality to play as wing-backs. I ask my wing-backs to do offensive and defensive work. Moses is a great surprise in this aspect. We know Moses as a winger, but he’s playing in a fantastic way. Also Alonso, it wasn’t easy to go in to the English league and play in this way, and I’m pleased.

“In this role, Pedro also can play, in the same way as Moses. Ivanovic or Aina can play a more defensive role as wing-back.’

Conte had nice words also for the 3000 travelling fans:

“Today I want to thank our supporters. They were fantastic from the first minute until the end. It was fantastic and I want to thank them, from me and the players. I hope to continue always together.’

The manager said this is the right way to have a positive season:

“Game by game, I am seeing a lot of positive things after games. I have confidence because we can improve a lot. The only way we must continue is to work and don’t look at the table. Now it’s very difficult to talk about a prediction. Many games must pass, above all the first part of the season, then you can see if you can stay up and fight for the title.”

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Southampton hosted Chelsea on Sunday evening, trying to prolong their unbeaten home run, having won their last home against Burnley with a scoreline of 3-0.

Chelsea on the other hand are also trying to extend their unbeaten run at the St Mary’s stadium, having won their last three Premier League games without conceding.

Well Chelsea went into the lead in the 6th minute following an Eden Hazard stunning individual goal after being teed up by Victor Moses, beating his man in the box and hitting past the legs of Fraser Foster. After the goal, Chelsea let Southmapton dictate play but penetration remained a huge task for the Saints as they only had 1 shot on target compared to the Blues 3, Costa came close to doubling Chelsea but could only shoot straight at Southampton goalkeeper,after that there wasn’t mucch action as Chelsea took their 1 nil lead into the half-time.

The second half started the same way the first half ended,with Southampton getting the lion share of the possession but still couldn’t penetrate a resilient Chelsea, as the Blues doubled their lead as Diego Costa hit an audacious effort from outside the box in the 56th minute.

Southampton 0-2 Chelsea 

5′ Hazard 55′ Diego Costa 

Chelsea Hazard Diego Costa


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Southampton – Forster, Martina, Fonte (c), Van Dijk, Bertrand, Romeu, Clasie, Davis, Tadic, Redmond, Austin

Subs: Taylor, McQueen, Yoshida, Hojbjerg, Ward-Browse, Boufal, Olomola.

Manager: Claude Puel

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

Subs: Begovic, Ivanovic, Terry, Chalobah, Oscar, Willian, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

Venue: St. Mary’s stadium

Kick-Off: 4pm BST

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Southampton supporter and Sky Sport Italia bet advisor, now exiled in Tuscany, Adam Grapes replied to our questions regarding today’s clash and team news before the kick-off at Saint Mary’s stadium.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte claimed yesterday that Saints play offensive football, this is the reason why he really likes Claude Puel.

“I wouldn’t really call our football offensive, – Grapes said – but at the same time it isn’t negative! Perhaps the best way to describe it is steady with the potential to be positive. So far we have only scored 11 goals in 9 matches, but we are waiting for the explosion!”.

Moreover, Matt Le Tissier revealed that both Eden Hazard and Diego Costa won’t shine in the clash at St.Mary’s as “Virgil van Dijk is the perfect player to deal with Diego Costa” and Cuco Martina could win the challenge against the Belgian star.

Anyway, Grapes has doubts about it: “You cannot disagree with Le God too much, but I’m not sure if Martina against Hazard is a particularly even contest”.

“I would have preferred to see Cedric Soares in the line-up – he added – but he isn’t yet available after his injury. Martina is a decent player, but I fear that Hazard will give him a difficult afternoon.

“Van Dijk, together with Fonte, are possibly the best centre back pairing in the Premier League, but against Costa they cannot let their guard down for even one second”.

Grapes is a football specialist really close to Italy and italian football, then we asked him a point of view about new manager Antonio Conte.

Will Chelsea improve under Conte and his well-known ‘idea of football’?

“I think their last home match against Manchester United was a sign that Conte is on the right track with his team – he claimed – I found it ridiculous the rumour of his possible departure a couple of weeks ago, the typical story to fill up a boring international week!”.

“At the end of the day, his team has lost only two games this season against Arsenal and Liverpool. His squad is reasonably strong”,

About striker Michy Batshuayi: “I believe that Batshuayi would get into the starting line-up of virtually every other team in the Premier League and without any European commitments, Conte can concentrate on the league”.

chelsea batshuayi

Chelsea and Southampton are reportedly set to fight in the race to reach the ‘European spots’ until the end of the season.

“I believe that Chelsea will not be just fighting for the European spots, but fighting for the title. It’s already pretty crowded at the top of the league, and a winning run at the right point of the season could open the door to any of the contenders”.

When asked about the Saints, he added: “Southampton? Of course Seville will win the Europa League as they always do, so no Champions League football for us next season!”.

“I would like to see us maybe get into Europe via a Cup win, as over the past few seasons we have neglected a bit these tournaments. The League Cup draw was unkind to us, but we beat Arsenal in this tournament a couple of seasons ago. We’ve done it before and it can be done again !

Who is the most talented player in Southampton squad at this stage? According to Grapes, is recently signed winger Soufiane Boufal.

“Hopefully Soufiane Boufal, our summer signing from Lille. He is just in the phase of being incorporated into the team after an injury and great things are expected of him.

“Hopefully his goal against Sunderland in the League Cup last Wednesday will be the start of something special!”.


Last but not least, also former Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu deserves a mention.

Grapes ended: “Maybe he isn’t our most talented player but has been fantastic for us this season in his role as a defensive centre midfielder. Hopefully today he will put in another decent performance to show his old club what they are missing!”.



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Barcelona are lining up a move to land Juventus winger and Chelsea loanee Juan Manuel Cuadrado to Camp Nou, according to Goal.

The Colombia international is currently spending his season in Turin after joining the Blues from Serie A side Fiorentina last year.

Cuadrado’s current ownership is esteemed around £30m, anyway the La Liga champions are said to be not willing to pay more than £18m.

It is understood Barcelona are still keeping tabs on Arsenal starlet Hector Bellerin, who is their main target.

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Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp underlined how Chelsea star Eden Hazard changed his way of playing following Antonio Conte‘s decision to switch to a 3-4-3 formation, where the Belgium international can help the teammates as a an attacking-midfielder.

“Chelsea have changed their formation and Eden Hazard has been one of the big benefactors, – Redknapp told Sky Sports – Antonio Conte’s switch to a 3-4-3 has freed up the Belgian to go and play a more exciting role for the team and he’s responded with four goals – matching his total for all of last season”.

“When you play Hazard out on the left, he’s reliant on his team-mates getting the ball out to him on that flank and that’s not always easy for the midfield to do.

“If they can’t find him in space, in the right areas, it becomes difficult for both the player and the team, who are relying on him. But with Hazard playing almost as a No 10 now, in between the lines in a more central area off Diego Costa, it suits him”.

Then he added: “He’s got license to go left, to go right and against Manchester United he was phenomenal. I don’t think he had a point to prove against Jose Mourinho, or that playing against his old boss had anything to do with it.

“He’s just playing really well at the moment, loving his football and that shows in his confidence on the ball.”

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Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier is confident that the Saints could stop Antonio Conte’s side at St Mary’s stadium tomorrow.

“Virgil van Dijk is the perfect player to deal with Diego Costa – he told Sky Sports – He’s got all the right physical attributes to handle him, with strength and pace, and he’s also got the right temperament to not get wound up by him”.

“He’s been outstanding all season. Maybe he could have done better for Manchester City’s goal in letting Kelechi Iheanacho get the wrong side of him, but you’d be nit picking.”

Le Tissier, when asked about Hazard’s shape at this stage, added: “Eden Hazard is probably more of a worry for me than Costa and Cuco Martina will have to have a great game to stem his threat.

“However, he’ll have plenty of help. Oriol Romeu, Jordy Clasie and Steven Davis will sit in and protect the full-backs, so he’ll get that extra support when Hazard cuts inside onto his right foot.”

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Antonio Conte explained how he’s trying to improve Chelsea players life-style and performances also looking at small details, like healthy nutrition:

“In my career, near the end, I started to eat very well and I felt the benefit of this.

“So when I started a new career as a coach I wanted to bring this idea to my players. It’s a good solution. You don’t ban anything, you tell them the right balance. It can prevent injury, you recover very quickly, and you are more fresh mentally.  

“In pre-season we explained the right balance about what you eat, with carbohydrates and protein and fat, but not to ban something, just explain the right balance.

“I pay great attention to my food, I prefer always healthy food. I prefer to avoid carbohydrates, I prefer to eat protein with vegetables and fruits. When I am with my family, spaghetti is very good! I like pasta, but I try to avoid it because it has a lot of carbohydrates!”

The Blues manager also explained that he likes to remain fit despite not being a player anymore:

“Sometimes when I have time to run I do, I run for 30 or 40 minutes. In the training ground we have four pitches and I run around the pitches. Sometimes I try to involve my staff too!”

Conte also gave some injury updates on Cesc Fabregas and Kurt Zouma:

“Fabregas stayed with us in a part of the training session on Friday, when we tried offensive movements, and I think he will be ready next week,” the Italian coach revealed.

Zouma played a game with the Under-23s and the physical answer was good. Now we prefer him to play another game on Monday and if it’s all okay he will come back to us.

“I am very happy because I can have another central defender and a good central defender, a young one with great potential.”

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Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel doesn’t fit in Antonio Conte‘s plans: the Nigerian midfielder spoke with the Italian manager about his future and they agreed that an exit could be the best solution for both parts.

According to OwnGoalNigeria.com, Mikel asked to leave the club in the next January transfer window.


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