Sunday, April 30, 2017

Arsenal defeat playing on Conte´s mind ahead of rematch

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Feb 2017

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Antonio Conte will use Chelsea’s defeat at Emirates Stadium earlier this season as motivation when Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Arsenal served up the Blues’ heaviest defeat of the season when they ran out 3-0 winners in September, with Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil netting before half-time.

The two teams will lock horns again this weekend – Premier League leaders Chelsea nine points clear of third-placed Arsenal – and Conte is out for revenge.

“It seems a long time ago, it’s important to remember the defeat against Arsenal,” he told a news conference.

“It was a bad defeat. In my mind it’s present, always present. I hope in the mind of our players also.

“It will be very difficult, it’s important to remember that game. A lot of things have changed, but for sure we are a team, we want to have a good game.

“We have nine points [over Arsenal], but if we lose it will be six. We must pay attention.

“We must continue the momentum. We are in good shape, playing good football with intensity.

“If we win the game tomorrow, it’s a good lead.

“I’m sure it will be a really tough game. Arsenal beat us already, they have the possibility to repeat it.

“We need to stay focused, have great concentration, the will to fight, to win.

“I like to repeat to my players to look at ourselves, rather than the other.”

Arsenal suffered a shock home defeat to Watford on Tuesday, but Conte sympathised with Arsene Wenger’s men.

“I watched the Watford game. The final result didn’t tell the truth,” he added.

“Arsenal were unlucky. Watford played very well but Arsenal had a lot of opportunities to draw or win the game. It was a strange result.”

Conte also attended Manchester City’s 4-0 win at West Ham on Wednesday and came away reminded of the challenge he still faces to end his maiden Premier League campaign with the title.

“If anyone thinks that the league is finished…” Conte shuffled in his seat before completing his sentence. “I’m not so sure.”

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