CONTE EXPLAINS WHY HE STARTED WITHOUT A STRIKER

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte shocked everyone with his line-up for Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Barcelona.

Conte opted against starting with a striker as he named a front three including Pedro and Willian, with Eden Hazard as a false nine.

Conte’s plan was to use the pace of his three forwards to exploit Barca’s frail defence, and it almost worked as Chelsea were the more dangerous side in this game.

Asked whether he felt vindicated in not starting a striker, Conte told BT Sport: “I think that when you have to play this game you must have a plan. ‘You must respect the characteristics of the opponent to choose which is the best way to face this team.

“I think our plan was really very good. The effort of the players was great. It’s a pity because we are talking about 1-1 but maybe we deserved more tonight.’ He added: ‘I think that we were very close to the perfect game. I think only one mistake.

“As you know very well when you make a mistake against Barcelona, against players like Messi, Suarez and Iniesta, you have to pay.

“It’s a pity, it’s a pity because I’m very proud of my players. They followed the plan we prepared for playing Barca. It’s a pity also because I think tonight we were a bit unlucky.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.