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giftedviz.com August 20, 2017


Antonio Conte denies team selection was a message to Chelsea hierarchy

13 August 2017, 07:03 | Pamela Mathis

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Alvaro Morata of Chelsea speaks to the Chelsea backroom staff prior to coming on during the The FA Community Shield final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium

Becoming the first ever title-wining side to concede three goals in the first game of their following season, Chelsea were rocked by a red card given to captain Gary Cahill inside just 15 minutes of the game. "We didn't lose our balance and I have to be proud about the great commitment, the great desire, the great will of my players even though it was very hard to change the result in the second half". Stops only that Burnley plays on the road.

"It was a pity because our fight in the second half was very good", Conte said.

"You don't know me very well", Conte said, replying to the suggestion he might have meant to highlight the club's lukewarm summer recruitment. "He has a lot of space to improve, he is a young player and he needs to continue to work and to improve".

Any hopes of a recovery were dented when Cesc Fabregas was sent off after collecting a second booking late on, although David Luiz did set up a grandstand finish with a powerful volley to make it 3-2 with two minutes left.

There was an element of disbelief around Stamford Bridge as Sam Vokes' second goal gave the visitors a 3-0 lead against a ten-man Chelsea on the verge of half time. "I am not anxious, I am ready to fight with these players".

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Speaking at a news conference ahead of the clash with Sean Dyche's side, Conte played down his team's prospects of becoming the first club to defend their title since Manchester United in 2008-09.

Chelsea went down to nine men via a red card to Fabregas with about 10 minutes to go. It's a game the Blues really ought to win, though their opponents did establish themselves as a very solid mid-table outfit last season, and have strengthened in the transfer market.

There's talk of signing Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater, but any club who hear Chelsea knocking will quickly pick up the scent of desperation as they scramble to add players before he window slams shut.

Diego Costa was as important a player as any for Conte last season, however, the bad relationship between the two has made sure that Costa won't play again for Chelsea.



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