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Chelsea: Conte praises fighting Chelsea

21 Aug

Marcos Alonso scored an 88th-minute winner as the Premier League champions responded from an opening loss to Burnley. Michy Batshuayi’s own goal had just six minutes earlier cancelled out Alonso’s first-half free-kick.

With Diego Costa in exile, Eden Hazard still recovering from a broken ankle and a thin squad following sales, loans and suspensions, Conte said Chelsea showed the spirit of champions on the field.

“To play against Tottenham, away, and to win is a fantastic result. It’s not easy,” Conte said. “I want to thank my players. Every one. I saw today the fighters.

“I saw a lot of positive things in a moment that’s not easy for us with the suspensions and the injuries. I’m very happy when I see this type of game. I’m not speaking about football, but this spirit, this heart, this desire.

“This season we started with the first half not so good against Burnley but, in the second half, they showed me again a great spirit. We tried to change the final result and scored two goals with 10 men and nine men.

“We have to continue to consider there are great difficulties in this season, but the only way we can get through these difficulties is to work.

“We showed great desire to stay compact, not lose the balance. To show, also to be the champions. It was very important, this.”

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