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Premier League

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte feels his side deserved more at Anfield last night and claims that Liverpool were lucky to get a 1-1 draw:

“We dominated the game and we created chances,” said the
Italian manager.

“Liverpool were lucky to score and then to draw.

“In our best moment we conceded the goal and were unlucky if you see the dynamic of the goal.

“But at the same time I am very happy to see a great reaction of my players, with the way they fight and don’t accept a bad result.”

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was also asked about his decision to play with Danny Drinkwater in midfield and Cesc Fabregas sidelined on the bench.

The Italian manager said: “I think when you play every three days it’s very difficult but every coach tries to make the best decision for his team”.

“It’s important to have rotation otherwise you risk having players who are very tired, in this case Cesc: he’s played every game from the start of the season because don’t forget, Bakayoko and Drinkwater were injured”.

“We played in China and Singapore with just Kante and Cesc, and then N’Golo was injured but Cesc continued to play. He played every game, and played very well in every game, so I took this decision and it was important because when you give a new player this type of chance, in a big game, it shows the coach trusts all of his players. I can count on Drinkwater”.

Conte praised Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas and the England international: “It’s very important to have four midfielders and make the decision if I want to play with three or two. The impact of the subs today was great. Willian, Fabregas and Pedro all played against Qarabag. Willian scored twice, Cesc also scored and Pedro had a really good performance. Today when I decided to make the subs, their impact was great and I want this. I want to create this atmosphere!”.

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Chelsea winger Willian scored a crucial goal for the Premier League champions in a tough game against Liverpool, with a cross which dropped over the head of Simon Mignolet.

When asked about the goal which secured Chelsea an important point, Conte admitted he’s just focused on the final score: “I don’t know, I have not spoken to him” he assessed.

Willian scored his first goal in the Premier League 2017/18, having provided two assists scoring twice in the last Champions League game against Qarabag.

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson spoke after his side’s home draw against Premier League champions Chelsea. Former Blues’ winger Mohamed Salah was the first scorer of the game as he was quick in exploiting a clever pass from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into the penalty area.

The Egyptian star has now scored his 15th goal for the Reds: “He just keeps going, which is good for us –  Henderson told BT Sport – It was a fantastic finish and I thought he got another late on.”

When asked about the game, he added: “We’re disappointed, I thought we would hang on for all three points so they will probably be very, very happy with the point,” Henderson added.

“It was a game between two good teams, tactically, we both had chances but I think Chelsea will be happier with the point.”

 

 

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“It’s very bitter to concede in that way, at the very last stages of the game – said Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet following his side’s home draw against Chelsea – I think we deserved to win the game so it’s always difficult to take when you concede an unlucky goal like that”. 

Antonio Conte, on the other side, believes Chelsea deserved a different result as they produced some great chances to score showing to have a ‘tactical plan’ to cope with Liverpool at Anfield.

“I think we did well, we had our chances as well – Mignolet said – The first half, as you would expect, Chelsea were good on the counter and had a few chances. But we were in a good position and Mo scored scored second half, then we tried to defend our lead. Unfortunately, they equalized at the end.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte played with Eden Hazard alongside with Alvaro Morata in a 3-5-2 formation against Liverpool this evening, and the Italian coach has explained the reasons behind this decision.

In the 0-4 victory over Qarabag, Chelsea played with a 3-4-2-1 formation, as Conte himself noted: “Eden is now in really good form. He likes to play as a striker and there is a good link with Alvaro. For me it’s an opportunity to play with two different systems. Against Qarabag we played with a 3-4-2-1, today with a 3-5-2, but we must not lose our identity in both cases”.

The Belgian star, who suffered a serious ankle injury while training with the National Team, has now fully recovered: “At the start of the season it was full of trouble because he had an injury with the national team and we started the season without him. When you have this type of injury and you need surgery, it’s important to have the best time for your recovery”.

 

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Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte was full of praise when explained the reason why the Blues “must be pleased” with today’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, as the Italian manager himself said speaking after the game.

“We played in a really good way because today we had a tactical plan – he said – For Liverpool it was very difficult to make chances to score”.

Conte introduced Fabregas, Willian and Pedro off the bench: “We prepared very well and it was a tactical decision, especially in the first half, to be very solid, and then be dangerous with the ball. In the second half we dominated the game and created many chances to score. Liverpool were lucky to score, and then to draw”.

“The first sub, I changed Danny [Drinkwater] because it was his first league game from the start, a big game, and you lose mental and physical energy, he played very well. With Cesc [Fabregas] I wanted good quality in midfield. I changed Bakayoko for Pedro and I asked Pedro to play as a midfielder because he’s more offensive than Bakayoko”.

“Then I brought Willian on to play with the strikers and moved Pedro to wing-back, – Conte added – I think it was a good idea, but even before the changes I don’t think we deserved to be 1-0 down”.

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“We must be pleased with the game, – said Chelsea manager Antonio Conte speaking at a press conference in Anfield – I think both teams played with great intensity from the start until the end. For us it was very difficult to play this game after long travelling and no rest for my players”.

Conte added: “When you play a strong team it’s not simple, so we must be pleased because in the first half we were very solid and always dangerous in possession. In the second half we created many chances to score and in our best moment we conceded the goal”.

“We were unlucky when you see the dynamic of the goal – the italian manager admitted – But at the same time I was very happy to see a great reaction, great desire and a great will to not accept a bad result. We drew but we tried to win the game, so we must be pleased with the draw”.

Chelsea remain 3rd on the Premier League table with 26 points, despite failing to reduce gap on Manchester United and Manchester City.

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Liverpool went close to winning the game against Chelsea at Anfield as Mohamed Salah‘s goal gave the lead with 25’ left to go, before Willian leveled up the clash with a strange shot which dropped over the head of Mignolet.

Reds‘ head coach Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport he’s massively disappointed with a decision of referee Michael Oliver: “After Willian’s goal I was angry because we wanted to make a change and change the system and the ref wouldn’t let us. He said it would take too long. I don’t understand it, how can a change take too long?”

 

“We wanted to change to five in the back, in that moment it could have helped a lot. That’s where Willian popped up with the goal, and that’s why I was angry”.

Liverpool remain three points behind Chelsea, sitting 5th on the table right behind Tottenham Hotspur, who were stopped by West Bromwich Albion earlier today.

 

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill reflected on his side’s away draw against Liverpool at Anfield this evening, a result which means the Premier League champions reman third with 26 points.

“I thought on reflection in the second-half we deserved to equal the game up. – he told BT Sport – They had some good spells in the first half we had some in the second. They did cause us some problems at times and I’m sure we did them,”

About the controversial goal scored by Willian: “You’ll have to ask him if it was cross. We’re delighted it went in, we deserved to get the goal”.

Manchester City could extend their gap on Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham if they beat Huddersfield at home tomorrow: “If we were in their shoes we’d be delighted with that – Cahill added – But we have some good games coming up and clearly this is a difficult place to come. It was important we didn’t lose today.”

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