Belfast Telegraph

Conte delighted as Blues go 10 clear but angry about late goal

By Matt McGeehan

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was thrilled to reply to Tottenham and Manchester City's victories on Sunday - but will not accept giving away late goals.

The Blues moved 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win at West Ham, whose consolation goal came in stoppage time.

Conte's men - who went six league games without conceding earlier in the campaign - have now gone four league games without a clean sheet.

Conte commented: "We controlled the game.

"We scored and we had chances to score other goals.

"It's a pity for the goal we conceded at the end. We gave away another clean sheet at the end of the game, it's not good. We must improve in this situation."

Spurs lie 10 points behind following their 3-2 win against Everton, while City are a further point back - having played a game less - after winning at Sunderland.

Conte added: "I'm pleased we played a good game. Great concentration from my players, great committment, great will to win and also to reply to our opponent, yesterday they won and today we won.

"It's not easy to play after your opponent. And you know if you draw or lose you drop points (to them).

"To feel this type of pressure is good. We had a good answer.

"Now we must prepare for the FA Cup against (Manchester) United (on Monday)."

Chelsea's opening scorer Eden Hazard said: "It's easier for me to play more inside now and link up. Last season I was more out wide and there I am sometimes alone, against two guys.

"Antonio Conte is a great character and he helps us a lot.

"We want to win the trophy as soon as possible and bring it back to Stamford Bridge."

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was left to rue a lapse in concentration which led to Hazard giving Chelsea the lead on a counter-attack and "sloppy" defending for Diego Costa's second.

"We started well in the first half, and then to make such a mistake that led to their goal when we had our centre backs in their box," said the Croatian.

"And then their second goal, from our side was a cheap one.

"The story is very simple. If you want to beat Chelsea, they have to make the mistakes for you to score goals and not the other way round. (Otherwise) you have very little chance.

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