Tag Archives: Marcos Alonso

Antonio Conte: Lionel Messi made the difference for Barca

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Chelsea coach Antonio Conte believed that Lionel Messi made the difference for FC Barcelona as the Catalan team knocked the Blues out of the Champions League with 3-0 home win (4-1 on aggregate).

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Conte saw his team fell behind after just 128 seconds as Messi shot through the legs of Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle.

The Argentine then set up Ousmane Dembele to hammer home, before collecting his 100th Champions League goal — after a mistake by Cesar Azpilicueta — took the hosts out of sight.

Marcos Alonso, who nearly scored with a free-kick was then denied a penalty after a challenge by Gerard Pique as Barcelona joined La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Sevilla in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

Conte, who sought out Messi at the final whistle to express admiration at his display as they made their , said: “I have to praise the commitment of my players, and be proud because they gave everything. But Messi made the difference and, when you have the opportunity to make a great compliment to Messi, it’s right to praise a super, super, super top player.”

“A player who is able to score 60 goals in every season. Not only for one season. We are talking about an extraordinary player, the best in the world.”

The former Italian International coach also believed that his team was also unfortunate to exit the Champions League after striking the woodwork four times in the two legs.

“We were a bit unlucky because we created many chances to score,” he added. “I think there was a penalty on Marcos Alonso [after a challenge from Gerard Piqué] at the start of the second half and, if you make it 2-1, you can put a bit of pressure on Barcelona. At the end, I repeat: I must be pleased with the commitment of my players. I saw great work from my players.”

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.

Napoli and Fiorentina draws as Juventus takes down Inter

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Napoli and Fiorentina draws as Juventus takes down Inter

Fiorentina and Napoli went against each other’s necks to determine the fate of their Serie A campaigns, only to draw at 1-1 after a tense match and share one point apiece.

Earlier, Juventus had extended their lead on top of the table to 4 after beating Inter Milan with two second-half goals in Turin. Although they are clearly the favourites for yet another domestic title, they still depend on Napoli’s fortunes ever so slightly.

And most of the Nerazzuri would be cheering the fact that Fiorentina scored first, with Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso outjumped the Napoli defense, heading in a corner to pull his team ahead after just six minutes.

But Alonso would also woe his day, as his clearance less than a minute later found Napoli top scorer Gonzalo Higuain, allowing the Argentine to send his first shot in to the net from outside the box and bag his 25th goal of the season.

Both sides took to hard offense but even as Fiorentina found the woordwork twice, they held on to end the game with those early goals.

Fiorentina’s keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu was also vital in keeping Napoli out, as he blocked a powerful drive from José Callejón and stopped a Higuain follow-up. He also kept out dangerous effort from Lorenzo Insigne in the dying minutes, just as Higuain had a goal disallowed for being offside.

The match saw Napoli keep up their pace behind Juventus with a 3-point gap, while La Viola remain fourth but draw against Roma on points with the last Champions league spot to play for.