Conference Call: A fair result

Antonio Conte watched his side extend our unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge, but it was ultimately a frustrating afternoon as we were held to a third consecutive goalless draw against Leicester City.

Cesc Fabregas saw a couple of first-half attempts saved by Kasper Schmeichel, while the Leicester goalkeeper also denied Marcos Alonso from a late free-kick, but the visitors, who finished the game with 10 men after Ben Chilwell was sent off, weren’t without their own chances, particularly in the first half.

Conte felt the heavy schedule caught up with his players.

‘I think to find an excuse or alibi, today we paid for our effort against Arsenal,’ said the Blues boss.

‘To play on Wednesday and then against a really good, physical team like Leicester, after only two days, is tough. We played with almost the same players as we did against Arsenal.

‘My plan was to play with one team against Norwich and then these last two games with the same team. I saw a lot of players who were very tired.

‘We suffered a lot in the first half and at the start of the second half. When I decided to put on fresh energy (Pedro and Willian) the game changed. We tried to create chances to score without suffering defensively and win the game, but in the end I think the result was fair.’

It’s now three games without a goal for the Blues, and Conte believes the whole team, not just the strikers, must take responsibility.

‘I think the problem is for the team, not only for Morata. Compared to last season we are conceding less and showing more solidity, but we haven’t had great quality in our finishing. A lot of time defenders have had chances to score but didn’t take them.

‘We have to try to improve in this aspect, but the problem is not just for Morata, or Batshuayi when he plays. We have to improve our quality in the last step.’

When Willian and Pedro were introduced for Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, who Conte said were withdrawn due to tiredness, we changed from 3-5-2 to 3-4-3, and the Italian spoke about the systems

‘Don’t forget last season there were different players. We changed many players and I have to find the right balance. Against Norwich we played 3-4-3 with Willian, Pedro and Batshuayi (in attack) and Drinkwater and Bakayoko (in midfield) but we didn’t score.

‘It’s not a problem with the system. With both systems we are conceding less but scoring less than last season. The situation is very clear. We must improve with shots from outside if we want to score and win.’

Conte also provided an update on Gary Cahill, who went off injured in the first half

'Cahill has a muscular problem, but not a serious problem. I don’t know how much time he needs to recover but the doctor told me it’s not serious.’

CONTE: 'I think a lot of players didn't recover from the midweek game with Arsenal'.

News 13/01/2018