Tags Posts tagged with "title race"

title race

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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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Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes Premier League title race will be a two-horse race between the two Manchester clubs, who are leading the table at the moment, stating that Chelsea have no many hopes to challenge them:

“It definitely remain a Manchester duel for the title. At this moment in time, it is United who are closest to Man City but I don’t think Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea are right this season,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast, as noted by Sky Sports.

“You have to retain hope if you’re Man Utd and think that something could happen in a couple of weeks’ time in that Manchester derby that could start a run of results that will put doubt in Man City’s mind,” the former Manchester United defender claimed.

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea appeals during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Manchester, England.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is afraid Manchester City could be unstoppable in this Premier League title race:

“I must be honest, now they are playing very well and it is very difficult to think that you can catch them,” said the Italian coach about Pep Guardiola‘s side.

“If they continue in this way it will be very difficult for every team to fight for the title. We have to try to fight until the end. For sure it won’t be easy.”

The Blues boss also took a little dig to Chelsea board regarding the transfer market:

“Man City were very strong, a very good team last season. This season they work very well in the transfer market and after this it was a team that showed to be very strong. The football is strange, it is very difficult now to predict who will win.

“I think they are having a positive path and it will be difficult for other teams.

“The reality is that Manchester City is a really dangerous team, not just England but the world. They have a fantastic team, a great manager and a great strategy, which they showed in the transfer market.

“Man City will be a great danger for this league and for the world, they can fight and win everything. They are working very well and I am worried because they are working very well.”

 

 

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard believes the Blues are still in the Premier League title race even if Manchester City are top of the league and Antonio Conte‘s side is fourth with a gap of nine points.

“It’s a possibility”, – Lampard told Ominsport about Chelsea chances to retain their title – “but this year’s going to be difficult because Manchester City have started so well. The reality is that they’ve opened up a lead and have a very strong squad. I think for Chelsea, they’re fighting not just in the Premier League but in the Champions League and more games. I think Chelsea, for sure, will be competitive. Chelsea have to be established to stay in the top four every year because they have to play Champions League football. We’ll see. Manchester City have played very well but the performance against Manchester United from Chelsea was very impressive. If they play at that level, Chelsea can beat any team.”

 

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admitted his team will struggle to retain the Premier League title this year.

Having fell down to 4th position in the table with 13 points,  behind leading duo Manchester City and Manchester United after Saturday’s defeat against Pep Guardiola‘s side, the Italian manager claimed he had an easier job when managing Juventus to hold the title in Serie A:

“It is very difficult for every team in this league. To defend, it is very difficult to win two titles in a row.

”We won the title with Juventus and I was expecting a really strong challenge from AC Milan, but instead they sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris St Germain, so they became weaker. It wasn’t simple second time, but it was easier.

“Here, from last season to this season, you have big teams and now they are bigger… And now after I think a great transfer market, they have improved a lot. It’s not simple to play this league.”

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