Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chelsea have 50-50 chance of ´miracle´ title win, says Conte

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Apr 2017

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Antonio Conte says Chelsea have only a 50-50 chance of winning the Premier League following their defeat at Manchester United and claims winning the title would represent a “miracle”.

The Blues fell to a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday as goals in either half from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera left them just four points clear of second-place Tottenham, having held a 10-point advantage at the start of April.

On paper, Spurs have a tougher run in with matches against rivals Arsenal and Manchester United to come, as well as London derbies with Crystal Palace and West Ham.

But Conte, whose side have now lost two of their past four matches after going down 2-1 at home to Palace this month, says there is little to split the teams.

“We lost two games. The two games were totally different – we didn’t deserve to lose against Palace – but today [Sunday] we deserved to lose,” he told a post-match news conference. 

“There are six finals until now and the end. The league is open. We have a 50 per cent probability of winning the league.

“The pressure is normal – I prefer to have the pressure rather than not fight for the title and to joke in every moment. 

“We are lucky to have the pressure. Last season Chelsea had no pressure as they were 10th place. 

“Something important is happening this season. We are doing a quick job, a miracle this season considering the problems last season.

“For us it is a fantastic target. For me if we were able to reach this target it would be a miracle. We must understand this and find the right motivation.

“We stay in a great position, but Tottenham are in good form and playing very well and with enthusiasm. We must have the same.”

A potential barometer of where the two title contenders stand will come in next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final, with Chelsea and Spurs meeting at Wembley.

“We all know you either go to the final or you don’t and so we must put 200 per cent to reach the final,” Conte added.

“It won’t be easy because Tottenham now are the best team. They are in great form and they have a lot of enthusiasm because they are feeling the possibility of writing history.

“This is a game between two teams that are in contention to win the league this season. It will be an interesting game. We have five days to prepare for this game and then play to win.”

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