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Premier League

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Chelsea are champions of England for the 6th time in their history thanks to the win the Blues obtained tonight at The Hawthorns against West Brom.

Michy Batshuayi, who took the pitch at minute 76 for Pedro, scored the winner at 82′, assisted by Cesar Azpilicueta, in a game that was very tough for the Blues, who missed many chances.

Antonio Conte’s side are champions with two games to go. The party can begin.

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Chelsea defender David Luiz responded to former Blues’ manager Jose Mourinho, who recently criticized defenders like the Brazilian star, who adopt a more attacking role leaving their team vulnerable during games.

When asked about Mourinho’s words about him, the former Paris Saint-Germain star told the Daily Mail: “That is not just Mourinho. In Brazil they say it, too. Defenders must be pessimists. I cannot be that. I am an optimist in my life. I’m positive”.

“I always think and dream of the best things. But I know where I am.

David Luiz added: “I don’t want to take my small boat and go against a wave of 20 metres. Maybe I can go around the sides, and we’ll arrive. I’ll try to find a way.”

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Also Manchester United were interested in Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to the Daily Star.

Chelsea have reportedly moved ahead of the Red Devils in the race to sign the 22-year-old Frenchman, who is said to have already set personal terms with the Blues.

It is understood the deal would be worth around £40m but Jose Mourinho will try to lure Bakayoko from the Ligue 1 giants as he’s the main target in midfield as a possible replacement for Michael Carrick, according to reports.

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Antonio Conte spoke again about his future in today’s press conference, claiming that he wants to keep the focus on the present to reach the title but also stressing that he’s under contract with Chelsea for two more years:

I” have a contract with Chelsea for other 2 years,” the Italian manager said about his future.

“it’s logical when you start the work in a new club, the will is to continue to work, to develop it in the years, my will is to stay. But not we have to look at this moment, it’s important we are ready to do this step.”

Rumours suggesting Conte will join Inter in the summer refuse to go away but the Blues boss insisted he has a project to work on at Stamford Bridge:

“I have a two years contract with Chelsea, but also I like to repeat in this moment, for me and my players, to be focused on the moment, because this moment it’s very important. This is the right thing in this moment. It’s not normal to have a lot of speculations, but we have not to lose the concentration, the focus, because it’s really important.

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Tomorrow night Antonio Conte can win the Premier League title in his first season on Chelsea‘s bench.

According to Martin Keown, however, the Italian manager has already written history in English football: “What I would say is that Antonio Conte has revolutionised the Premier League,” – Keown told the Daily Mail. – “He is the first manager to win the Premier League playing with three at the back. I actually thought Conte looked lost playing with a back four earlier in the season. He has such a good understanding of the back three and it is remarkable the way he has been able to pass over the tactics to every single player”.

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Antonio Conte is looking forward to secure the title with Chelsea in the next three games, better if tomorrow night against West Bromwich.

The Blues boss claimed he has no injury concerns for the clash at The Hawthorns:

All my players are available for the game,” the Italian coach revealed.

“This moment is a really good moment for us because we are really close to reach a fantastic target, he continued.

“But we have not to forget that we have to take three points, we must know that to play against WBA is not easy, they got a really strong team and a good coach, the atmosphere will be hot, we have also to enjoy because we worked a lot, we worked very hard. This is a fantastic season and we have to take 3 points to reach our target.

“I think my players are totally focused at the moment, this is an important moment for us, for the fans, we are in a good position, but we have not to forget that we have to take three points to reach this target.

Conte was asked if he preferred to win the title at home on Monday night, against Watford, but for the Italian manager that is not the most important thing:

“Honestly I prefer to try to win as soon as possible, it’s not important where we win, it’s important to win, and then you have the time to celebrate the win wherever you want. Tomorrow it’s like a final game for us, we’ve been thinking like this for a long time, it won’t be easy because WBA are a really strong team, they played a great match against us in Stamford Bridge.”

Rumours suggesting Conte will join Inter in the summer refuse to go away but the Blues boss insisted he has a project to work on at Stamford Bridge:

“I have a contract with Chelsea for other 2 years, it’s logical when you start the work in a new club, the will is to continue to work, to develop it in the years, my will is to stay. But not we have to look at this moment, it’s important we are ready to do this step.”

Conte was asked if he would like to improve his contract with Chelsea at the end of this successful season:

“I think when you reach a certain level the money could be important but it’s not everything, the money is only explaining your value, it’s not important. I was thinking the same was when I was working in football as a footballer, the same is when you become a coach, the money is not important, it’s important to win. Money are important, but they are not everything.

Conte was then asked what his the key factor for Chelsea success this season:

“First of all I like to underline that this season wasn’t easy,especially at the start, we faced a lot of problems, we had to solve a lot of problems.

“The problem in a club couldn’t be only one person, we tried to solve these problems with my staff, we tried to find a solution, I have also to thank the club and my players because they worked hard to change this.

“It’s not easy to adapt to a new method, a new philosophy, a new work, comparing it with the work of the past, I want this job to become great and then fantastic.

“My biggest achievement? The players gave me their availability to work hard, on all aspects, a lot of situations were very different if you compare this with the past, you must find great men and then players that accept this, I found great men in my players, and I have to thank them for what they did for me.”

How Conte does rate this achievement in his career?

“It’s another big step for me, I like to take big challenges for me, I started my career with Arezzo and I arrived to Chelsea last year, this could be another big big step for me, in my career I enjoyed to have this kind of big challenges.

“So far this season for me was great, because when you arrive in a new country, new language, different culture, it’s not easy. For myself this season was a great challenge, for me and for my family. I am enjoying a lot this season, we are in a moment now where it’s right to enjoy this moment, with players, the fans, the club, every single person working for Chelsea is deserving to enjoy this moment. It’s very important to take these 3 points, because after this I will be more relaxed.”

And this is what Conte thinks about N’Golo Kante, one of the key players in this season:

“I can say only positive things about N’Golo, he’s always with a smile in his face, he’s fantastic, he’s having a great season with us. The most important thing for him, it’s to have this desire to improve every day, he can improve and become better than now. It’s incredible his evolution and career, I saw another situation like this, as Torricelli in Juventus, he was not in professional leagues, and then he came to Juventus, national team, he won a lot. IT’s great to have this kind of stories, football always give this kind of stories.”

Asked if Inter would be a big challenge for him, Conte replied:

“I have a two years contract with Chelsea, but also I like to repeat in this moment, for me and my players, to be focused on the moment, because this moment it’s very important. This is the right thing in this moment. It’s not normal to have a lot of speculations, but we have not to lose the concentration, the focus, because it’s really important.

Conte confirmed he didn’t watch Spurs game against West ham last week:

“I had a dinner with my wife and my daughter, I didn’t watch the game but after the dinner the surprise was great.

Asked if after winning the league he will rest players for the FA Cup final, he said:

“The most important thing is to win, to take 3 points, I am not worried for the physical condition, we worked with the same program in the past weeks, we worked a lot and for this reason the shape it’s good, it’s important to take these 3 points, then we will think about the future.

When asked if he is scared about what his players could do during the celebration, he replied:

“After one season where you work a lot, you enjoy but you also suffer, I think the celebration moment must be fantastic. Now it’s not right to think about this, we must take 3 points, after this I think my players want to celebrate in the right way.”

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TONY PULIS WBA
West Brom manager Tony Pulis

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has warned Chelsea ahead of the clash against Baggies at the Hawthorns set for tomorrow night (8pm BST).

The manager, speaking at a press conference, said: “Firstly, you have to give Chelsea great credit, they deserve to be where they are and have been most consistent team.

“We will give it our best [on Friday]. We’re looking forward to it. We owe it to our supporters and we have our own targets to hit.

“We are looking forward to a game of football which has three points riding on it, nothing else. I think it’ll be a great atmosphere – absolutely fantastic.”

Then Pulis added: “We have three great games, three very competitive games left to come this season. Chelsea, Man City and Swansea on last day.

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Diego Costa has been linked to a move to China in the last few weeks, but what he doesn’t like the most is the way the media are writing and talking about him as a “dirty player”.

So the Blues striker thinks that winning the Premier League title will prove his critics wrong: “I am very happy. I know that people here, they are always hitting me so much,” Costa told DIRECTV Sports. – “But what I am saying is people here in London, the press, they are always looking for something, speculating. Saying that I am leaving, but I am scoring goals, we are on top of the league, we can be champions. In three years in Chelsea I can be champion twice which is not a little thing. I hope we can win the league and enjoy and the critics have to be sorry.”

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Thibaut Courtois is ready to play on Friday vs West Bromwich and he hopes Chelsea will win to celebrate his second title with the Blues.

“We hope to do this at the first attempt” – the goalkeeper said – “We know West Brom are a hard team to play against. Every opponent who goes there has a hard game. They are eight in the league and have had a very good year. But we’re very close and it will be very enjoyable after last year”.

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Chelsea have reached an agreement over the transfer of Billy Gilmoure from Scottish Premier League side Rangers, the Glasgow outfit have confirmed the deal.

An official statement read: “The club’s preference would have been for Billy to stay at Rangers but when he made clear his desire to move to the Premier League it was important that we maximised the commercial value for him. We believe we have done this.

The agreement will provide Rangers with a significant sum for a young player who has yet to play first-team football, and further significant amounts could be due based on milestones being reached. We are pleased with this outcome and believe this deal represents good value for Rangers.

That he was sought after by many Premiership clubs, and indeed a number of the largest clubs in Europe, further demonstrates the quality of player now being produced by the Academy. Everyone at Rangers wishes Billy well for his future”.

 

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