Atletico Madrid v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Atletico Madrid’s Juanfran battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group C match at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on September 27, 2017


In MatchWeek 7, EPL Champions Chelsea were sunk by Belgium striker Kevin De Bruyne’s winner for Manchester City.

After his side’s crucial defeat, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admitted Chelsea had lost “the complete player” Kevin De Bruyne who scored the winning goal against his former club to return Manchester City to first place on top of the England Premier League.

De Bruyne’s former teammate Frank Lampard talked about why former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho allowed Kevin De Bruyne to leave Chelsea in 2014.

"It was a difficult time for the club, you had Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Willian had just signed. He wasn't as good as he is now,” said Lampard. "Of course, it's easy to look and say 'why did you let him go?', but he's gone away and made himself a world-class player."

De Bruyne’s second-half winner left Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola naming him among the world’s elite footballers and left Chelsea boss Conte facing questions about Chelsea’s decision to sell the Belgian during José Mourinho’s second term at Stamford Bridge. Conte did not criticize Mourinho’s decision directly but acknowledged it was Chelsea’s loss.

“I don’t know, honestly, what happened in the past,” said Conte. “But for sure we are talking about a top player, the complete player. He’s good, technical, fast, and he works hard for his team. He is the complete player.”

De Bruyne’s goal was key to an impressive performance by an in form, well coached Man City side performances in the Guardiola era. The victory made it eight straight wins in all competitions.

“He is doing a lot of great things,” said Guardiola. “Last season he hit the post 12 or 13 times and this season they are going in. He can do absolutely everything. With the ball he can assist short and long. Without the ball, he’s the most humble person, the most shy guy.

“If I have to run 100km for the team, I will do that, no problem,” said De Bryune.

“It is not easy to find that work ethic with this type of talent,” continued Guardiola.

City’s 1-0 defeat of Chelsea moved them back above Manchester United who enjoyed a 4-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace, to the top of the league on goal difference. Tottenham Hotspur are in third position.

“It’s still only September,” added Guardiola. “We still have United and the Harry Kane team. United is a José Mourinho team. With José, it will be so tough. But it’s important to show we can play like that. We showed in the first minute that we were coming here to win the game and Kevin showed, once again, how good he is.” 

After their goalless draw with Arsenal, Chelsea have now failed to score in back-to-back league games at Stamford Bridge for the first time since November 2012.

“We played against a really good team,” Conte continued. “We created chances but didn’t take them and in this type of game it’s very important to score first. Great compliments to Manchester City.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte recently talked about the pride he has being manager of his Chelsea side. Conte has only praise for the commitment his men show on the training field as well as in games.

Conte was obviously disappointed with Saturday’s result against Manchester City. But the Italian manager Conte wants to remind people of the magnitude of last season’s achievement of winning the Premier League title and other honors. Conte talked about his strong desire to achieve even more success.

“I see my players every day and I am proud to be their coach because I see their commitment in every training session and every game and I am pleased for this,” said Conte. “For sure, to defend the title is very difficult because the past has shown it is very difficult to win two titles in a row. Our motivation must always be high, in every competition. We must put all of ourselves into trying to do the best in every game. Last season was a great satisfaction because the year before we finished 10th and then we won the title and reached the final of the FA Cup. I think we had a fantastic season and this time we have to try to do our best and try to have great satisfaction again. For sure, it won’t be easy but last season also was not easy.”

Before becoming Chelsea boss, Conte won three consecutive Serie A titles with mighty Juventus. Conte is well aware that the task of retaining a Premier League crown is possible, but difficult as the top EPL sides strengthen their squads.

‘At Juventus we won the title against a really strong side like AC Milan, but the next season Milan sold Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic, and they were weaker. It wasn’t simple, but it was easier,” added Conte. “Here, if you compare this season with last season, you can see that you have big teams last season and now they are bigger. I think last season we did a really great job because we won the league against really strong teams. Manchester City last season was also a fantastic team. Now, after a great transfer market they improved a lot. It’s not simple to play in this league, but we have to try to do our best in every game, with great ambition, because we must always have the right ambition.”

With international fixtures coming up, Chelsea next see EPL action against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on 14 October.

“I think we can’t have regrets and we gave everything,” said Conte. “All my players gave 120 per cent to try to make a good result, but it wasn’t so. Sometimes you have to accept a bad result, but I think the most important thing is to see the fantastic attitude and commitment of my players because they gave everything.”

Chelsea head into the October international break having won 4 of their 7 league games to date, drawn 1 and lost the other 2. It is exactly the same record Chelsea had this time last season on the road to lifting the EPL trophy with the second-highest number of points in Premier League history.

Chelsea’s loss to Man City was not due to a lack of effort. The Blues knew it would be a difficult week, starting with the trip to Stoke last Saturday. Then there was the trip to Atletico Madrid, arriving back early the next morning at 5am, with practically only one day to prepare for the match. City team came well prepared. They had home games and one extra day of rest. Reportedly Chelsea made no excuses. City won their last two games, much in the same manner as Chelsea did.

"This was without a doubt the same Chelsea of last season, but what happened was that we came up against a City side who went into the game much better rested than we did," said Conte. "Nothing more. This time last year we were eight points behind, but it doesn’t mean anything. There is still a long way to go in all competitions.”

Chelsea 0-1 Manchester City

Manchester City goal: Kevin De Bruyne 67

Clean sheet: Courtois


Courtois, Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso, Hazard, Morata. Subs: Caballero, Pedro, Moses, Kenedy, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Sterling. Subs: Bravo, Danilo, Gundogan, Mangala, Bernardo Silva, Alexander Zinchenko, Toure.

Italian Chelsea boss Antonio Conte reportedly may quit at the end of the 2017-18 season. Conte took Chelsea to their surprising Premier League title last season. However his relationship with Chelsea’s board is difficult, made worse by a failure to land a number of his priority transfer targets in the summer transfer window. Conte missed out on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Sandro. Danilo, and Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea landed Alvaro Morata paying a club-record £58million fee. However Chelsea were still scrambling around on deadline day of the window to sign Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater, who is still yet to make his debut. The former Italy national team boss was close to quitting during the frustrating summer window. Inter Milan launched an effort to hire him away from Stamford Bridge. Conte sounded an alarm earlier this week when he admitted he missed Italy and did not intend to manage abroad for much longer.

“I miss Italy, there is no doubt,” said Conte. “It is not in my mind to stay abroad for a long time. Italy is my country. I will return, I don’t know when but that is the aim.”

When asked what other countries he would enjoy working in, he ruled out a move to China.


“China? No, absolutely not,” he added. “Bundesliga? It’s always difficult to predict the future. Let’s just say that a coach is a temporary worker. It depends on the results, but there’s desire on my part to try to do the best I can, finishing one project and then finding the right one to continue. I miss Italy, that’s a fact. Still, this experience is helping me so much. I would also like to change role, maybe become a sporting director in the future. Are we better than the English? There are practically no English managers in the Premier League. There are so many parts of the world here, but everyone here is good, prepared and among the best in the world.”

Conte signed a new contract in the summer that runs until 2019.


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