Antonio Conte takes aim at Liverpool to make point about Chelsea

Antonio Conte dismisses the notion that Chelsea have benefitted from a lack of European football this season

antonio conte
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Photo: Screengrab

Antonio Conte has dismissed suggestions that Chelsea’s title challenge this season is mainly down to their lack of European football – pointing to Liverpool’s flimsy title challenge as an example.

Chelsea are flying high at the top of the Premier League table as they chase a domestic double in Conte’s first season in charge at the club.

The Blues are seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur heading into this weekend’s round of games, with Chelsea set to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Liverpool, like Chelsea, have not had to deal with the rigours of European football this season but Jurgen Klopp’s men have failed to sustain a title challenge, with the Reds currently third and 12 points behind the table-topping Blues.

And Conte has dismissed suggestions that the lack of European football this season has been a key factor in Chelsea’s success this term.

“I listen to this story [of not playing in Europe as an advantage] from when I was the coach in Juventus in my first season but I can tell you why Liverpool is the same,” Conte told a news conference at Cobham on Friday.

“For sure, we had more time to work with the team and this is my first season with a new club but I think if this is the only reason you stay on top of the table – it’s a great mistake.

“We are doing a great job and we hope in the future to play in the great competition of the Champions League – I prefer this.”

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Chelsea finished 10th and without a trophy last season.

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