Antonio Conte was left to reflect on another good performance from his team even if we did not get the result against Atletico Madrid he believed we merited.
An own goal 15 minutes from time ensured we didn’t lose against the Spanish side, but Roma leapfrogged us after beating Qarabag in the other game in Group C. He considered the last 16 draw to come on Monday, but first analysed the exciting European encounter he watched unfold before him at Stamford Bridge tonight…
‘It was a good game, a good performance,’ Conte said.
‘We deserved to win. When you create so many chances to score, important chances, you have to try to take them. Instead the goalkeeper was the best player for them. In other circumstances, we could have been more aggressive with our finishing.
‘We conceded a goal we have to improve from. There were a lot of mistakes. When you play this type of game the details are very important. They move the final result. Maybe in our best moment, we went 1-0 down. We tried with strength to draw, and then try to win. After a performance like this, the coach must be happy.’
If Liverpool beat Spartak Moscow tomorrow, there are only three sides we could meet in the last 16
‘We know we could play against Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain or Besiktas. When you play this competition and go through to the next round, you must be ready to face the best teams. This is a fantastic competition. If you want to go through and be a protagonist in this tournament, you must be ready to face every team.
‘At the same time our opponent won’t be happy to play against us. We will see what happens.
‘I remember during the European Championships with the national team, we [Italy] finished first in our group and we played against Spain, and then against Germany, and then if we beat Germany we would have to play France. Sometimes it’s not important.’
Conte considered the chances of one of the five English teams winning the Champions League this season
‘This shows the level of this league is very high. For five teams to go through to the next round shows there is a lot of quality. There are also really good coaches. This league is very tough, and the Champions League shows this.
‘In the future we have to see. Here the season is very tough. You have to play a lot of games, and when you arrive at the quarter-finals or the semi-finals, the English teams have a lot of games in the legs. For this reason, it could be problematic to win, but the English teams are very good and they have the possibility to reach the final.
‘My only question is what physical condition they will arrive in.’
Conte discussed his aims for the season
‘We are trying to build something for this club. In this two years we have changed many players. We are trying to bring down the average age of the team. We have just started our work, our job. Last season we won the league but it was a surprise.
‘This season we are working well to try to improve and do our best in the league and the Champions League. We are working a lot to achieve this result.’
Conte commented on Tiemoue Bakayoko, who was restored to the starting line-up tonight
‘He is a young player, only 22. He is working to try to improve and go into our idea of football. It’s important to have patience and understand mistakes during the game are normal, from every player.
‘My task is to try to improve my player, especially if a player is 22 years old. He has a lot of space for improvement. At the same time, I am very happy with his commitment and work.’