Chelsea manager Antonio Conte warned his players not to succumb to complacency ahead the EPL leaders' home game against Arsenal today
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Pic/Getty Images
London: Chelsea manager Antonio Conte warned his players not to succumb to complacency ahead the EPL leaders' home game against Arsenal today.
Chelsea are nine points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who trail their north London rivals on goal difference, and odds-on favourites for the title. But Conte, who won eight Serie A titles with Juventus — five as a player and three as a coach — says there is still a long way to go. “Anything can happen. It's important to keep the antenna very high,” he told his pre-match press conference at Chelsea's training base in Cobham yesterday.
“If someone thinks that the league is finished, I'm not so sure. In the past I fight to win the title and I know we must pay great attention. There are 15 games to play and there are a lot of great teams behind us.”
Chelsea lost 3-0 at Arsenal in late September, a game that saw Conte switch to a 3-4-3 formation, which prompted a run of 13 successive wins. They have dropped points only twice in 17 league games since the defeat at the Emirates Stadium, losing 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur last month and drawing 1-1 at Liverpool on Tuesday. But Conte says he has kept the loss at Arsenal in his thoughts.
“This defeat seems far (away), but it's important to remember the defeat against Arsenal. It was a bad defeat, 3-0 after the first half. And in my mind, it's present, it's always present, this defeat. I hope also in the mind of my players. I think it's important to remember the first game against Arsenal. A lot of things changed now. We want to have a good game tomorrow.”
The score by which Chelsea lost to Arsenal at Emirates Stadium when they met in September last year
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