Mark Lawrenson reveals why Antonio Conte ruled Chelsea out of title race
The Liverpool legend suggests Antonio Conte's title verdict was a dig at the Chelsea owner
Mark Lawrenson believes Antonio Conte is having a dig at Roman Abramovich when the Chelsea manager ruled his team out of the Premier League title race.
The defending champions have endured a mixed start to the 2017-18 Premier League season to fall well off the pace in the title race.
Chelsea lost to Burnley, Crystal Palace and Manchester City in their opening two months of the current campaign to tumble down the table.
The Blues managed to reclaim some of the ground lost thanks to an eight-game unbeaten run before last weekend’s trip to West Ham United.
The west London side signed six players in the summer transfer window but missed out on the signing of Romelu Lukaku and Alex Sandro.
Chelsea made the controversial decision to sell Serbia international Nemanja Matic to Manchester United in a £40m deal.
Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson believes Conte is still embroiled with a running battle with the Chelsea owner Abramovich ahead of the January transfer window.
“I think this is a bigger story,” Lawrenson told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“He is trying to defy the owner Abramovich and say Chelsea haven’t got enough players which has been a constant theme of the season so far.”
The Blues edged to a 1-0 win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
Chelsea have won two Premier League titles in the past three seasons under Jose Mourinho and then Conte.
The Blues haven’t retained the Premier League crown since Mourinho’s first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge
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