Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has accepted responsibility for his club’s shoddy performance in Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League 3-3 draw with Roma at Stamford Bridge.
Hosts Chelsea took a 2-0 lead but went 3-2 behind before an Eden Hazard goal saved them from a third straight defeat in all competitions after back-to-back losses in the Premier League to Manchester City and Crystal Palace.
“I didn’t like the type of football we did for a lot of the game, but it’s right to take the responsibility for this,” Conte said in his post-match press conference .
“I tried on one hand to protect my team, to become more solid and to move our central defender into midfield. On the other hand we lost totally our style of football.
“Sometimes you have to find the right solution to try to protect your team. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. But you know very well our situation.
“It was good to draw. Roma deserved this result. I have to praise my players, because my players showed me a big effort, a big commitment tonight. Otherwise we lose the game.”
Meanwhile, Conte has hit back at Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho who suggested that other coaches should stop ‘crying’ about injuries.
Conte has publicly complained about the effect a busy schedule has had on his squad having lost N’Golo Kanté and Victor Moses to hamstring complaints, and Danny Drinkwater to a calf problem. David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Tiémoué Bakayoko also ended the Roma draw with new injuries.
Conte admitted that his team are now in “an emergency situation”.
Mourinho suggested that rival managers were more eager to moan about injuries in their squad after United’s 1-0 win over Benfica in a Champions League fixture in Lisbon.
When Mourinho’s comments were passed on to Conte, the Italian was left fuming.
“But do you think it was for me?” he asked. “If he is speaking about me, I think he has to think about his team and start looking at himself, not others. I think that, a lot of times, Mourinho likes to concentrate on what is happening at Chelsea. A lot of times, also last season. He has to think about his team.”