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Conte admits he’d have settled for a top four place after Arsenal defeat

Date Posted,May 26, 2017

He may be hunting the Double but Antonio Conte admits he’d have taken a top-four place after his Chelsea side were hammered by Arsenal in September.

It was after that 3-0 demolition at the Emirates that the Blues went on a record-equalling 13-match unbeaten run as the Gunners slipped out of the top four.

Chelsea raced away to an impressive title success while Arsenal finished out of the Champions League places.

Casting his mind back to September, however, Conte said: “It was very difficult to think about celebrating winning the league after the Arsenal defeat.

Arsenal eased past the Blues in September (Photo: Getty)

“Honestly, that felt very difficult. Not impossible but, in that period, we had a lot of big problems to solve. To find the right solution quickly is not easy.

“You must be very good, very prepared, but also lucky in these circumstances. You must also have the players to give you the possibility to impose your ideas.

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“At the start of the season, if you’d said we could qualify for the Champions League, I’d have signed for that. Then I found great players, and we were able to change our season.”

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich visited the training ground that week with doubts over the club’s title credentials.

Roman Abramovich applauds fans (Photo: REUTERS)

But Conte added: “He came for three days to watch our training sessions, to watch the video analysis, to stay with us.

“He supported me. He never showed me he was angry. I think the club always saw my work, during pre-season and in that period and trusted in my work. I never thought the club was thinking about sacking me. Honestly.”

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