Antonio Conte was pleased with the efforts of his side in the narrow defeat to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half goal was the difference between the teams but Conte, who lost Alvaro Morata to injury before the break, praised his side for their attitude, particularly given the fact we only had minimal time to prepare for the fixture following the midweek trip to Madrid.
‘For sure there is disappointment about the result but at the same time I’m pleased with the commitment of my players, we gave everything,’ said the Italian. ‘You can win or lose, but the most important thing is to see your players giving everything and today that happened.
‘We played against a really good team, we created chances to score but we didn’t take them. Man City created chances and did well to score. In this type of game it’s very important to score first but great compliments to City.’
Conte provided an update on Morata’s injury
‘It’s a muscular problem. I don’t think it’s serious. He said to me: “Coach I prefer to stop, otherwise I risk having a bad injury.”
‘I don’t know. The doctor in the next few days will check the situation but I don’t think he will be available for the national team.’
He was asked about our lack of preparation time for today’s game, and whether he felt Morata’s injury could be linked to the packed schedule
‘On this issue I have already spoken and to repeat the same opinion is not good. We don’t want to use it as an excuse. To play another massive game two days later you must consider the fatigue in the legs of your players, and it’s impossible to press box to box because after 30 minutes you have no energy.
‘It’s normal when you play three massive games in seven days you must consider this aspect but we needed to take the risk because Morata, for us, is a very important player.’
Conte, who said his decision to bring on Willian, rather than Michy Batshuayi, for Morata was a simple tactical one, also spoke about our approach to the game
‘When you play against the type of team who likes to have possession, you have to consider two tactical aspects. You go very high, press and play with great intensity for the whole game, or you must be disciplined to close the space and exploit space in behind their defenders.
‘I think we have to look at ourselves and try to put everything into every game. We did that today. Damage or no damage, we have to go game by game, do our best and then we’ll see at the end of the season how we finish the league. When I see my players have given everything we must be pleased despite the bad result.
‘You have to consider that in seven games we’ve played Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City and Everton. Our start wasn’t so easy. I think we have the points we deserve.’
You can see Conte speaking to Chelsea TV after the game in the video below.