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Chelsea FC

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Winner scorer Victor Moses challenging Spurs star Harry Kane © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is really satisfied after obtaining the seven win in a row in the Premier League, three points that let his team stay on the top of the league before going to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City next weekend:

“I’m satisfied because this type of game is very difficult,” Conte told BT Sport.

We played against a very strong team, a tough game with high intensity.

“Tottenham started very well, then there was our reaction and I’m happy for this because it’s not easy to go 1-0 down at home in this type of game. Now it’s important to continue to work.”

The Italian manager praised the two goalscorers, Pedro and Moses:

“Pedro played a good game, a good performance and also scored a great goal with great finish. He must continue in this way and he deserves to play, to start in the XI, but now it’s important to continue this way.

Victor [Moses] is a good player. I saw him during the preseason and I wanted to keep him in the squad. Now it’s the same as Pedro. He deserves to play and he’s playing fantastic football. For us he’s very important.”

Speaking about the title race and the chances to win the Premier League he said:

“It’s too early [to talk about the title], above all after this game, because this league is very tough.

“Today Tottenham showed that in this league there are six, seven teams who can win the title. For us it’s important to continue this way to improve the confidence.

“It’s not easy when you go 1-0 down to have a good reaction against a tough team. For this reason I’m pleased but it’s important to think of the next game.”

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Thibaut Courtois revealed what is Antonio Conte’s secret to make his team perform at this incredible level.

Chelsea obtained seven wins in the last seven games, in six of which they maintained a clean sheet and have been top of the league for two fixtures:

“The saves I made today were not too hard. We found strength inside the team and the changes of the manager helped us win the game,” the Belgian goalkeeper said after the game.

He then went on explaining how Conte’s passion is helping them to keep this kind of performances:

“He’s like that every session. When we do tactics he’s very passionate and demands. He keeps the team sharp.”

 

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Pedro celebrating equaliser with Cahill right before half time © Francesca Ceciarini

Antonio Conte revealed how half-time pep-talk changed Chelsea game, with Blues helped by Pedro’s stunning equaliser in the end of the first part of the derby against Spurs:

“It was a big test for sure. Tottenham is a really good team with great organisation and today they started better than us,” the Italian said in his post-match press conference.

“They started very well and also they scored a fantastic goal. Then I liked our reaction. It wasn’t easy to react in this way.

“I think the goal Pedro scored gave us the right confidence and after the first half we spoke. I always speak to my players.

“It is right to see the right things and the wrong things you are doing. Sometimes it can happen that the opponent starts better than you.

“I think together we found the right solution to win the game and in the second half we exploited situations we didn’t exploit in the first half.”

“When you win this type of game – a special derby – you must be pleased. We won against a really strong team,” Conte added.

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Chelsea remain top of the Premier League table until next game with Manchester City after winning 2-1 over Spurs this evening.

Tottenham had a great first half and scored with Eriksen after just 10′ but the Blues were able to equalise right before halt-time with a stunning shot of Pedro from outside the box that went to the posts crossing.

Victor Moses sealed the match and gave back to Chelsea the top of the table scoring the winner at 52′, Spurs then were not able to equalise and still stil fifth in the table with 24 points, while Conte’s side lead with 31.

Liverpool and Man City, who bot won in the afternoon, keep their second place with 30.

Full match report to follow soon.

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about his experience with derbies during his footballer and manager career, especially when he was at Juventus:

“I liked these types of games, for sure. They are not normal.

“In Italy, when we played the derby against Torino it wasn’t easy. I remember a lot of games like that when I was a footballer, not only as a manager. These games are unpredictable.

“‘It’s normal in Italy too to have very tough games when you play against the big teams: Juventus-Inter, Juventus-Milan, against Roma.

“In Italy, I can tell you about it from my experiences in these types of game against Torino, and when I played with Lecce against Bari – these games are very tough and the supporters feel this.

“For sure there is a fantastic intensity during the game.

“In London there are a lot of teams, but this game is special for our fans. It’s not important to look at the past and I hope it’s not difficult to keep focus.

“We are working a lot to improve our football, to play good football, and I think during the game we must be focused on the game, and then to put our right passion in. I want my players to play with great intensity and great passion, but always in the right way.”

Spurs haven’t won at Stamford Bridge for almost thirty years, their last success in the West London stadium was in February 1990:

“I don’t like the stats, because they are cold. You have to live the moment. If you speak about our unbeaten run I can reply to you that in this championship Tottenham are unbeaten, and for this reason it’s important to play with good intensity, to try to win, and to change that situation.”

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Team News

CHELSEA 

– John Terry picked up a gluteus injury after recovering from ankle injury a couple of weeks ago

– John Obi Mikel suffered a muscular injury as well

– Kurt Zouma still needs to be 100% fit to return to first team squad

– Cesc Fabregas might return to match squad after missing a couple of games for a minor injury

 

SPURS 

– Pochettino will miss both his left-back as Danny Rose is suspended and Ben Davies is suffering ankle injury

– Erik Lamela still out for a hip problem

– Toby Alderwereireld recovered from his knee injury but he still not fit to play

– Tottenham last win as Stamford Bridge was in February 1990 ( 2-1) but have won more points in Premier League London derbies since the start of last season than any other side (20 points – W5 D5 L1).

Possible Line Ups

CHELSEA - Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Matic, Kante, Marcos Alonso; Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Pedro.

SPURS - Lloris; Walker, Dier, Wimmer, Vertonghen; Wanyama, Moussa Dembele, Son Heung-Min; Dele Alli, Kane, Eriksen.

 

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Kurt Zouma recovered from his terrible ACL injury and now he’s ready to come back, but Antonio Conte wants to be careful and wait for the French defender to be fully fit and confident.

Zouma is getting playing time with Chelsea youth sides and when ChelseaNews24 asked Conte if the French centre-back is ready to play for the first team and if he can have a chance now that John Terry is injured again if someone is needed in the defence:

“Kurt is playing with continuity with the youth team and he’s training with continuity, now it’s important to find the right form and to let him understand this new idea of football and tactics. It’s important to go day by day.”

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Rumours coming from Spain were claiming that FC Barcelona eyed Victor Moses, who has been impressing in these last six games at Chelsea, since they are looking for a new right full-back.

Antonio Conte was asked today if he thinks to give the Nigerian a contract extension, so to prevent him to accept offers from other clubs, this is what he answered:

“It’s important to be focused game by game, now we are doing very well, I like to think that my players look at the present, not at the future or so long-term, after a tough period we won six games in a row, now it’s important to work and to think about the present, not to the future. There is the right time for everything.”

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