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.
"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
- 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