• Conte hails leaders Chelsea’s willpower


    BOURNEMOUTH, UK: Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised his team’s refusal to bend to the pressure of the title race after their 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

    Before the Blues kicked off on the south coast, Tottenham Hotspur beat Watford 4-0 to move to within four points of leaders Chelsea.

    But Conte’s side was seldom in danger as they restored their seven-point advantage.

    They went 2-0 up after 18 minutes through an Adam Smith own-goal and an Eden Hazard strike before conceding a goal to Bournemouth’s Joshua King.

    But man-of-the-match Marcos Alonso made the game safe with an exquisite free-kick and Conte said: “Yes, I’m satisfied because it wasn’t easy to play this game after the win by Tottenham but our answer was very good.

    “We started very well with a will to win the game,” the Italian added.

    “It was a pity to concede the goal and we suffered a bit but in the second half I think we managed the game very well and scored a second to improve the result against a really good team, with good organisation and a good coach. We must be pleased with the game.

    “It’s not easy to play after Tottenham but I think it’s normal in football. When you play after your opponent it’s normal if you see that the opponent is very close to you to feel a bit of pressure.

    “But I’m happy to face this kind of situation, to play with only four points’ advantage. I like the pressure, to live with pressure. If I don’t see pressure, I put some on. When you have pressure, you give the best of yourself. We accept it.”



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