Antonio Conte: West Ham draw explains Chelsea’s season

Antonio Conte: West Ham draw explains Chelsea’s season


A frustrated Antonio Conte says his side’s 1-1 draw with West Ham was a true reflection of his side’s form this season.

Chelsea were the best side from start to finish but failed to capitalise on their dominance after defender Cesar Azpilicueta gave his side the lead, only for Javier Hernandez to equalise with 17 minutes remaining.

Following the match, Conte pondered whether his side had the killer instinct to find the back of the net for a second time.

“It is very difficult to explain it,” he told Sky Sports.

“We dominated the game and created many, many chances to score but we didn’t and that explains our season.

“We have had good performances all season but you have to score. This is not the first time and we have to improve a lot. When you stay in this position in the table it means that you have a problem.

“We have to improve, we must win this game. Instead we are talking about a draw.

“You need the desire to score a second goal, a third, a fourth.”

Summer signing Antonio Rudiger further vented his manager’s frustrations in a post-match interview of his own.

“I think we begged for the goal, and in the second half, or even in the first half we could have finished the game, but like the last few months we couldn’t, and we conceded at the end,” he said.

“It’s not easy to explain, I don’t understand after we go 1-0 up why we always drop off and let our opponents come onto us.

“We could have done better, of course, we gave them a gift, it was the first clear chance they had and they scored.”

Goalkeeper Joe Hart was the star of the show for the Irons, picking up the man of the match award, with David Moyes saving special praise for the on loan England international after the match.

“We were incredibly committed,” Moyes told his post-match press conference.

“I’m not disappointed. I thought we played against a really slick Chelsea team, particularly in the first half, and I was happy to get in only 1-0 down.

“We gave away a really poxy first goal. (Fair enough) if it had been a really good footballing goal (but) it was a bad goal. But we were always in with a chance at 1-0.

“I’d rather talk about how well the team kept at it and gave us a chance. Joe Hart, that’s why he has so many caps and medals at the top level. That will be good for Joe today.

“Maybe on another day we get a penalty late on as well. I’ve always said we need 40 points, we might not need them but we won’t be happy until we get there.”

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp hailed goalscorer Hernandez after the game.

“He does a great job holding the ball up for his team, being aggressive and holding off Gary Cahill. It’s a good piece of play. He’s one of the best finishers in the game,” he told Sky Sports. 

“He is up there with the best and it’s a brilliant finish, it’s unstoppable. Great forwards seem to have that extra bit of time.

“He’s almost stumbled across it but playing Marko Arnautovic as the striker has really helped West Ham. He’s more mobile, he gets hold of the ball, he can do something with it and even the penalty appeal, that’s him at his best.

“But when you have 70 minutes and you need someone to come on – an assassin, a goalscorer – that’s what Hernandez brings. He’s one of the best in the business.”

Former Hammers manager Slaven Bilic, whom signed Hernandez, echoed the sentiments of Redknapp.

“He’s a natural goalscorer and he’s there where he has to be. He’s not dangerous outside the box or around the box, but in the box, he’s the best finisher. Everything he thinks about is being in the box to come for a second ball,” Bilic said.

“He had some difficult times in the beginning. I don’t think he did all of pre-season because of the Confederations Cup but he is a brilliant goalscorer.

“He’s a brilliant guy, a good person to have in the dressing room. He doesn’t cause problems, he can be angry but for five or ten minutes, no more than that. He is a good guy.”