Tags Posts tagged with "title race"

title race

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte commented the Boxing Day win over Brighton with these words:

“In the first half we had the right chances to score but didn’t take them,” the Italian coach said.

For this reason it becomes difficult because your opponent stays with 10 players behind the ball.

“In the second half we settled very well and created many chances. It was a good performance with good intensity.

“It’s the same performance against Everton, against them we showed 25 times we had shots on goal but today we scored twice. We are in a good moment of form and just continue this way.”

Speaking about title race he claimed:

“This season is different to last season. Last season a lot of times we won games and were a bit lucky, like against West Brom here, Sunderland. This season sometimes we could have more luck.

“We have great respect for Manchester City because they are doing an extraordinary thing.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte analysed the win against Bournemouth after the final whistle:

“I think at the end we deserved, it wasn’t easy because we fought with a good team, I made many rotations and I had a good response from my players,” the Italian tactician told after the game.

“We played a great first half, we conceded too much in the second part but we were able to score the second goal and it was a great feeling.

“It’s good to reach the semifinals, last season we were knocked out by West Ham in the second round.

“We have to fight for all competitions in this season, every competition has only one winner and we have to fight to win.

“Last season we lost the FA Cup in the final, we have to try to win something this season, we will try to win a domestic cup.”

Asked about the chances to challenge Manchester City in the title race, he said:

“I think we have to work on ourselves, we have to think game by game, Man City are doing something fantastic, they always win, they deserve a lot of respect because they are doing something incredible.

On Ethan Ampadu, who started again in the Carabao Cup tonight:

“Ampadu played a great game, I am happy for him because he’s young, I guess players like Cahill helped him, but I also believe Christensen and Ampadu can do something special in this season.”

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Thibaut Courtois doesn’t give up in Premier League title race and believes Manchester City can slip up, so to re-open chances for Chelsea and the other chasers:

“It’s important to try to keep on winning and pushing forwards,” the Belgian keeper told Chelsea TV.

 “At the moment City is winning. They are far ahead. But you never know in football. You can have a bad month, three or four games you lose, you lose points.

“We have to be there winning our games, to maybe have a little chance. The season is still long.

“Our main goal, if we cannot be champions, is to be second. We have to keep on winning.”

The Chelsea goalkeeper also valorizes the national cups, where the Blues are always in the race:

“It’s important to win in the League Cup, to go through to the semi-final. The FA Cup will start in January.”

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Antonio Conte was satisfied for other three points in the sack against Southampton but he admitted it was not an easy win:

“A good win. Yesterday I said we have to pay great attention to Southampton because they are a great team. I am happy because my players played a good game.

“I hope after this something can change. To book the goalkeeper early is important as the game becomes faster.

“It’s very difficult. Man City are doing a fantastic run, in this run they are also lucky, against Southampton, Bournemouth and Huddersfield they scored in the last minutes.

“Alonso is a specialist in this situation. Willian and Fabregas are also very good. Today I am very happy for Marco.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Gary Cahill of Chelsea and David Silva of Manchester City battle for possession during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on September 30, 2017 in London, England.

Antonio Conte stated again that it will be very difficult for Chelsea to close the gap with Manchester City, who are the absolute Premier League leaders and masters, that is 14 points at the moment.

But, in contrast to what he claimed after the West Ham defeat last Saturday, the Italian tactician keeps a little hope to be back in the title race:

Manchester City is not a surprise for me, but maybe also for you, at the start of the season all people said this league was for two contenders, the Manchester sides, they did a great transfer market. Man City is building a strong team to lead in Europe and in the world, not only in England.

“We must pay great attention because they are a really good team, when you have a 15 wins in a row run you must be also lucky, in many games they had last minute winners, we are tying to find a solution to contend the title, also Man United, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal have to do this.

“Time is moving on and they are continuing to win, we must be realistic because in the last nine games we won seven and drew one, against Liverpool, to maintain a 14 points gap….we must go game by game, we have to look at ourselves. When you play at home and you have a bad defeat like they did against Leicester there is a great attention from the players and the coach because you don’t want a bad run, Man City won against them only at 96′.”

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Speaking ahead Premier League clash against Southampton Chelsea boss Antonio Conte warned his players to not lose more points in order to remain in the title race and be able to stay attached to Manchester United, who sit second in the table with three more points:

“To me tomorrow is a tough game for us,” the Italian tactician explained during his press conference today.

Southampton are a good team with a lot of talent, I would have preferred them to win against Leicester instead of losing that way, we must pay great attention because they are very strong, fast and play very well in counter-attack. [They got] lot of good players like Charlie Austin, Dusan Tadic, Shane Long….I have a feeling we will suffer tomorrow.

“If you don’t pay attention you can drop points also against West Ham, like we did this season, we dropped points against Crystal Palace, that at that time was at the bottom of the table, I am bit surprised to find Southampton in this position, because their potential is bigger than this.”

Speaking about Manchester City, who are absolute leaders of the Premier League and have got 14 more points, Conte claimed:

“Man City is not a surprise for me, but maybe also for you, at the start of the season all people said this league was for two contenders, the Manchester sides, they did a great transfer market. Man City is building a strong team to lead in Europe and in the world, not only in England.

“We must pay great attention because they are a really good team, when you have a 15 wins in a row run you must be also lucky, in many games they had last minute winners, we are tying to find a solution to contend the title, also Man United, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal have to do this.

“Time is moving on and they are continuing to win, we must be realistic because in the last nine games we won seven and drew one, against Liverpool, to maintain a 14 points gap….we must go game by game, we have to look at ourselves. When you play at home and you have a bad defeat like they did against Leicester there is a great attention from the players and the coach because you don’t want a bad run, Man City won against them only at 96′.”

The Italian boss also spoke about his two “number 9” strikers, Michy Batshuayi and Alvaro Morata:

Michy Batshuayi is part of my squad. He was out for three weeks because he had a problem in his ankle and struggled a bit to get the best physical condition, now he’s in a good form, if you compare to last season he is playing, only when he was injured he didn’t play, he started in the Community Shield, I am trying to take the best decisions for my team.

On Morata:

“He’s better, he trains with us, he’s been training with us for two days, he’s in contention for this game.”

To people comparing the Spaniard to Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, Conte replied:

I think they are two different players, they got different characteristics, Drogba wrote the history of this club, he was also very continue in his playing, I guess he was more powerful than Alvaro.

“Morata has a lot of space to grow, he’s physically strong and he’s a technical player as well.”

Speaking about David Luiz, who has been out of the squad for more than one month- apparently for a knee injury- Conte said:

“He’s got a big inflammation in his knee and we’re trying to solve this issue with the doctors, but I don’t know when he is able to come back with us, the medical department is trying to solve this.

“He’s working apart, the last days he was working in the swimming-pool, today he was on the pitch to run but he could do that very slowly.

“Every player is frustrated when he doesn’t play, especially when you got an injury, every player wants to take part to training sessions, they want the coach to have issues for his choices.

“Of course it’s frustrating because you cannot be in contention for the competition.”

Conte, anyway, revealed that – apart from Luiz- he’s got no other injuries for tomorrow’s clash against Southampton.

The Blues boss concluded speaking about next January transfer window:

“I think is right to have a meeting with the club about January transfer market, I stay here to work, I am a coach, for this issue you have to speak with the club.

“As you know really well I can give my opinion to my club, but last word is theirs, I have to respect every decision of my club, this is very clear.”

 

 

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Despite a good win at Huddersfield Town tonight Chelsea boss Antonio Conte still believes is side cannot challenge in this season title race: the gap from Manchester City is too tough to reduce, as the Italian manager stated again after the game:

“We have 14 points less than Manchester City. They have won 15 and drew 1. In 17 games we lost four games, when you have a competitor like Manchester City that is winning it is very difficult to think you can win the title, it’s bullshit, bullshit. I would rather tell the truth than a good lie. Sometimes I can be too honest, I like to speak to the players and fans.

“It doesn’t mean that we are not going to try to catch them. This league is very difficult and to drop points. When you have a team that have 16 games and 15 wins and draw one game it is not simple to think in a positive. In the last 9 games we won seven games, drew and lost one games but despite this we are now 11 points and they play tomorrow so the distance might be 14 points.

“They are having a fantastic path but we must go game by game, there are six teams to fight for the title and the Champions League and we have to look to improve and have this type of game and I enjoyed to watch them play like this.”

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was very frustrated this afternoon after his team’s defeat vs West Ham.

According to Conte himself it’s impossible for the Blues to think to confirm their Premier League title and their goal is now to finish in the top four of the table.

This is the fourth defeat in 16 games. When you have these stats it’s impossible to think you are in the title race. If you want to stay in the race for the title in the first part of the season you can only lose once or twice.” – Conte said – “Today it was very difficult, our start was bad and it was difficult to come back. We created chances but didn’t take them and now we are talking about a defeat. Many of the players were tired. It’s normal. We started our pre-season with the same players, a lot of players are playing almost always. Today our ideas were not so clear. We made a lot of mistakes from the final pass. We can do better.”

 

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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill admits the Blues have to think not only about their chances to defend the Premier League title, but they also focus on finishing into the top four of the table to play in the Champions League also next season.

“It will be a scrap to get into the top four this season. When the season started, everyone was saying that there are six teams that can win the League. There are not going to be four teams that are going to run away with it. It will be tight all the way to the very end”. – Cahill told the Evening Standard – “That is one of the reasons why it is important to beat Swansea. But the main reason is to stay close to the top as much as we can. I don’t think we can keep looking behind us. We are not even at Christmas yet. The right thing and the most positive thing is to keep looking at the team at the front. We have two home games this week so it is an opportunity for us if we start with a win tonight. We can go into it with confidence off the back of our recent performances.”

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is worried about Manchester City, who are top of Premier League table with 37 points in 13 games, 11 more than Chelsea, third with 26: in between, Manchester United with 29.

Per Guardiola’s side invested more than £ 200m in the latest transfer market window and when Conte was asked about City’s financial muscle and commanding lead, he said:

“Manchester City’s path is incredible, no? City in this season is a strong team, also last season, City was a fantastic team.

“Then, after the transfer market, they bought their first targets and then they have improved a lot.

“They can do this also in January maybe, in the future.

“For this reason we must be worried because if we want to compete with Manchester City we have to work and then make the best decisions in the transfer market.”

Speaking about his team and the moves of Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid and  Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, the Italian boss said:

“I only ask for one thing: to have all my players ­available, because in our squad there are 16 senior players and I trust them.

“It will be very important to have them available and then to have rotation. Last season was very difficult for me to find the best way but then we had a fantastic season.

“Now, this season, there is another challenge. We lost a lot of good players compared to last season, we lost two ­important players but at the same time we bought young players. In this league, we started with the two favourite teams, the two Manchesters.

“Chelsea, like last season, wasn’t a favourite. Despite this, we want to fight, and I think we’re trying to build something important for the present but especially for the future. It’s important to be patient.”

 

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