Football

Conte turns attention to finish line

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is looking forward to focusing on their title push, now that the transfer window is closed.

The 1-1 draw at Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time) saw them extend their advantage to nine points, after Arsenal lost to Watford and Tottenham were held to a goalless draw by struggling Sunderland.

The transfer window may still be open in China, whose clubs were linked with a move for striker Diego Costa, but with the European market off-limits, Conte believes his side can focus on consolidating their position.

"We have the same players that we play with at the start of the season, we haven't changed and I am very happy," he said.

"The transfer window has closed and now we can keep them in this second part of the season. I am happy to work with my players.

"Our market is finished - not buying or selling and I am pleased because now we have a squad and it is important to be focused for the second part of the season because this is the part to win the title or a place in the Champions League."

Chelsea could have left Anfield with all three points, but Costa's penalty was saved by Simon Mignolet.

Nevertheless, Conte was happy with a draw.

"It is not easy to play against Liverpool after their three defeats. It is not easy to play in this atmosphere," he added.

PROUD

"I am very proud of my players... It is a good point, for sure.

"When you have a good chance with a penalty in the 76th minute, then you think you could win and take three points but Mignolet made a great save.

"It wasn't easy to play with the same intensity of Liverpool so we must be pleased."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp promised fans a performance after three straight home defeats in a week, including two cup exits, and he believes his team delivered exactly that.

"I really prefer a draw with good performance than three points when I have no idea how we got them - but the best would have been this performance and three points, so, not a perfect night," he said.

"But Simon saved a penalty and I am fine with the performance and really happy we could give a little sign we are still part of the league, still playing football and sometimes really good." - PA SPORT

  • RESULTS

     
    • Arsenal 1 Watford 2
    • Bournemouth 0 Crystal Palace 2
    • Burnley 1 Leicester 0
    • Middlesbrough 1 West Brom 1
    • Sunderland 0 Tottenham 0
    • Swansea 2 Southampton 1
    • Liverpool 1 Chelsea 1
eplliverpoolCHELSEA (EPL)