Antonio Conte suffered one of his worst defeats as Chelsea manager on Wednesday, as relegation-battling AFC Bournemouth strode in to Stamford Bridge and strode out with three points and three goals and a clean sheet. Chelsea were toothless in attack (other than a few first-half headed chances), weak in midfield, and shambolic in defense (especially after Andreas Christensen was forced off with yet another — seven in total now — hamstring injury picked up by a Chelsea player this season).
Conte wasn’t looking for excuses however, dismissing any talk of the Batshuayi situation or Christensen’s injury as key difficulties for this game.
Conte is asked about preparations for the game with Batshuati. Says it would be simple to find excuses, and that Chelsea made a lot of mistakes. "When we win together, we lose together."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) January 31, 2018
Cahill is asked about the Christensen injury. Says Chelsea have played without him before, and won. "Injury is a prt of the game and it is not right to find excuses." Thinks it is a hamstring problem, but he will have to wait a few days to know the seriousness.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) January 31, 2018
There haven’t been too many such days under Conte at the Bridge, and we’d do well to move on quickly from this loss. The players and coaches will have to learn a few things from it of course, but there’s little reason to dwell on it otherwise. Pointing fingers, raging at the world, calling for heads to roll isn’t all that useful.
Win together; lose together, as Conte has said before.
Conte: "I am trying to do my best. If someone desn't think this squad deserves this situation... I think we are doing everything. 120%. If someone does not agree about this, I am here to answer every situation. But I am very relaxed about this."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) January 31, 2018
Conte on expectations: "If we want to dream only to dream and don't see the reality, I can say to fight to win the title this season. It is important to look at the reality and say if we reach a place in the Champions League, it will be a great success for us" #CHEBOU #CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 31, 2018
The task for the season doesn’t change: Champions League qualification; FA Cup run; Champions League dreams.
Chelsea have dropped back to fourth, which is the lowest acceptable finishing position. We remain just three points from second after Manchester United lost to Spurs, who are just two points behind the Blues now in fifth. (Arsenal remain well off the pace in sixth.) It’s going to be a dogfight to the end, and we must be ready physically, mentally, emotionally.
Conte: "It was a bad defeat but football is not simple... Now the most important thing is to understand we have to fight."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) January 31, 2018
Today was bad.
There will be better days.