After an impressive and crucial victory over West Ham United at the London Stadium on Monday night, Antonio Conte spoke to praise his side and their opposition as he told the press, as quoted by the club website:
“West Ham started the game very well with great intensity to put pressure on us… In this type of game, it is right to manage the situation, above all when you are facing a really strong team like West Ham. They tried to put a lot of pressure on us. Don’t forget West Ham Chelsea is a derby and there is great difficulty in these type of games. We were very good to manage the start of the game, then score the goal, and then control the game. We played good football, and we created chances to score other goals. It’s a pity to give away a second clean sheet at the end of the game, the second after Arsenal – we must work a bit on this aspect.”
After a tough start to the game, Eden Hazard’s strike proved to be the pivotal moment as the visitors grew in confidence and began to dominate the tie, with Diego Costa’s second-half goal all but securing the three points, even in spite of Manuel Lanzini’s late consolation effort.
The club could face a challenge in their pursuit of Italian striker Andrea Belotti after Torino club president Urbano Cairo told Sky Italia, as translated by the Daily Mail, who cite Chelsea’s interest in the forward, and Bleacher Report:
“We set Belotti’s clause and it’s true that we would be forced to sell him abroad for that sum if he agreed to the move… Of course, if I was negotiating it today, it should be 150m euros (£130m). I hope nobody comes in with that money, because I’d happily keep Belotti for all the time he wants to stay at Torino… He really is an exceptional hitman and today you saw his instinct to be in the right place at the right time.”
The Serie A forward scored an eight-minute hat-trick at the weekend to only further boost his price tag, with a number of top clubs from across the continent believed to be watching him, but it is clear that his current club have no intention of allowing him to leave in the near future.
Should he make the move to Stamford Bridge, he could hope to one day have Frank Lampard’s goalscoring records in his sight, but the former midfielder has refused to commit to a potential return to the club as he told Sky Sports:
“I don’t know [if I will coach at Chelsea]. Chelsea are helping me now with my badges and I’m thankful for that. As we all know, the badges are a process, it’s not an overnight thing so that will take some time. I’ll do some TV bits in that time to keep myself involved and I’m interested in that side of things. It leaves my options open and when you finish, I think it’s important to not make a rash decision right away.”
Lampard, who also spent spells at West Ham, Manchester City, and New York City, is a hero at Stamford Bridge and has recently been linked with a coaching role as part of Antonio Conte’s set-up behind the scenes.
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