Conte holds no hard feelings over previous City clash
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says the bad-tempered end to the Premier League leaders 3-1 victory over Manchester City earlier this season will not influence Wednesday’s renewal of their rivalry.
The 47-year-old Italian — speaking to the press a year to the day he was named as Chelsea manager for this season — revealed that Brazilian defender David Luiz still requires treatment on the knee that Sergio Aguero clattered into earning him a red card.
That sparked a free for all which saw Aguero’s City team-mate Fernandinho sent off as well for sending Cesc Fabregas over the advertising hoardings — both clubs were subsequently fined by the Football Association.
“I think now his knee is better than before and for sure he needs to have the treatment,” said Conte.
“It’s not important (the game at City). We must understand that when there is a game and above all if someone is losing the game, it can happen this type of situation. I have great respect for Aguero.”
Conte, who has insisted he will see out his three year contract with Chelsea despite reports linking him to the Inter Milan job in Italy, saw his side’s 10 point lead cut to seven over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
Chelsea went down 2-1 in a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace whilst Spurs beat Burnley and will hope Conte’s side drop further points on Wednesday and they beat struggling Swansea away.
Conte, though, is not unduly troubled by the Palace reverse.
“Football is wonderful also for this type of result. Tomorrow we have another game,” said Conte, who is waiting to see whether Nigerian star Victor Moses has recovered from the toe injury that prevented him playing against Palace.
The Italian thinks Chelsea have surprised many by their maintaining their form and topping the league.
“Nobody thought that Chelsea could fight this season for the title, but we stay there,” said Conte.
“We stay there and we want to keep this position.”