Tag Archives: Antonio Conte

Marcos Alonso strikes twice for Chelsea victory over Tottenham

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Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso struck twice to help the Blues rebound from their opening-day defeat to Burnley with a 2-1 derby victory over Tottenham.

Despite missing key players in Eden Hazard, Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas through either injuries or suspension, the defending Premier League Champions nonetheless grabbed the lead through a perfectly driven free-kick by Alonso in the first half.

However, Spurs responded and, despite missed chances looked to have at least earn a point when Blues substitute Michy Batshuayi headed Christian Eriksen’s free-kick into his own net with eight minutes left.

When it looked as if Tottenham would be able to finish the game with a point, Alonso struck once more with a powerfully struck shot inside the near post that slid underneath Hugo Lloris to earn Chelsea the full three points.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who had to endure a week of scrutiny after their opening day defeat to Burnley and a difficult summer transfer window thanked and praised his depleted team’s response in the face of incredible adversity.

“I want to thank every one of my players,” Conte said. “They showed me great desire, great spirit, great will, great heart, great will to fight.

“I saw fighters in a moment that’s not easy for us with the suspensions and the injuries. We suffered during the game, but we were always dangerous in every moment.”

““I must be satisfied because my players gave me everything today,” Conte added. “They did the same last season. There will be more great difficulties in this season, but the only way we can get through these difficulties is to work.”

Defeat for Tottenham also meant that their 19-game home Premier League unbeaten run — a streak maintained since Southampton in May 2016 — ended, and their Wembley curse continues in that the London club have lost their past four games against Chelsea at Wembley.

Diego Simeone plays down Diego Costa transfer links

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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has refused to be drawn into speculations that links Chelsea’s Diego Costa with his club.

Costa, who had been a part of Simeone’s team before his switch to Chelsea in the summer of 2014, became unsettled with the Blues at the turn of this year, with current Chelsea coach Antonio Conte informing the player that he does not play a part in the Italian’s plans.

At present, Costa looks headed for a return to the Spanish capital, and even went live on social media wearing an Atletico jersey during his summer break at Brazil.

However, he does not look headed for a return to La Liga anytime soon as Atletico are currently under a FIFA transfer ban. With the club already forcing through a controversial move for Sevilla winger Vitolo, Simeone seemed reluctant to entertain the links for a Costa move when addressing the media after a 3-2 friendly win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

“I don’t want to comment too much,” he said during the press conference after the game. “The fact is he is still with Chelsea. The most important thing to me is the work of my club in general, not only in training. I have to work with what I have.”

“When I found there was no other possibility to get new players at the club I accepted it. Maybe I could improve the quality, but for the moment with this team I can work very well and I’m satisfied with that.”

But there could yet be hope for Costa even as Chelsea insists that the player has been aware of their position on his future since January this year, with AC Milan sporting director Marco Fassone saying that he has held talks with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes.

 

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte would sign Tottenham’s £100m Harry Kane

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said that he would sign Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who he believes is worth at least £100m in the transfer market.

Conte, whose club had just signed Real Madrid Alvaro Morata for an initial £58m earlier this month, pointed to the England international as the player he would most like to sign.

“For me, Kane, now, is one of the best strikers in the world,” Conte said. “If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane.”

“He is a complete striker. He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he’s strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left. He’s a complete player. He’s one of the top strikers in the world. If you go to buy Kane now it would be at least £100m. At least. For me, if I see this price for a striker I know for sure he’s a big striker.”

Kane, who plays for Chelsea’s neighbouring rivals Tottenham, scored 93 goals over the last three seasons with 29 in the Premier League last season as Tottenham finished as runners-up behind Chelsea.

With Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino yet to make any new signings this summer, Conte questioned the Tottenham’s ambition but also acknowledged that his counterpart is under far less pressure to win silver, and that the current inflated transfer market makes signing players, even defenders, difficult.

“If they don’t win the title, it’s not a tragedy,” he said. “If they don’t arrive in the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. For Chelsea, Arsenal, City, United and… I don’t know… Liverpool, it is a tragedy.”

“Every team has to understand what their ambitions are. If their ambitions are to fight for the title or win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It’s simple. My question is this: What are Tottenham’s expectations?”

“(But) Honestly, I think now every single player is expensive. For you to even enquire about one player, he is expensive. You go to buy a right-back, a left-back or a central defender and he is expensive. It is very difficult in the transfer market for the teams that need to improve their squads.”

Antonio Conte signs improved two-year deal with Chelsea

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has signed an improved two-year deal with the club after winning the Premier League title in his first year with the club.

Chelsea confirmed the deal as the manager left for Beijing along with his squad ahead of a three-match pre-season tour of China and Singapore, on with Conte also describing the team’s achievements last year as “something amazing” in the club’s statement.

Aside from their Premier League title victory, the Italian had also inspired the Blues to put in their best club performance, winning 30 games and a club record of 13 consecutive victories. He also led his team into the final of the FA Cup, albeit losing the title to Arsenal.

Conte came to Chelsea under three-year contract London in the summer of 2016. Although the new deal does not extend Conte’s commitment to the club, it eases any immediate concerns over his future especially after speculations of a move to AC Milan.

“I am very happy to have signed a new contract with Chelsea,” said Conte. “We worked extremely hard in our first year to achieve something amazing, which I am very proud of. Now we must work even harder to stay at the top.”

However, the decision to sign a new contract without extending the terms contradicts previous comments by Conte, who had indicated his willingness to commit to a longer deal.

Back in May, he said he wanted to stay with Chelsea “for many years”, adding: “If the club give me the possibility to stay and extend my contract, for sure I’m available to.”

Furthermore, the Italian manager would also most certainly have questions for the board regarding their lack of transfer activity, and their loss of a major target in Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who moved to Manchester United instead.