March 10, 2018

Conte: We Cannot Drop More Points  (Sky Sports)

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte said Chelsea cannot afford to drop any more points in the race to finish in the top four, as the Blues shook off a run of four league defeats from five to beat Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

The 2-1 win reduced the gap to the top four for last season's champions to two points, but Tottenham can extend it if they win at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Chelsea have missed out on a place in the Champions League only once since 2002, even qualifying when they finished sixth under Roberto Di Matteo in 2012.

Conte said: "This win was very important. If we want to fight for a place in the Champions League, now it will be very important not to drop points.

"We didn't take a lot of chances we created today. But the commitment of all my players was good."

Olivier Giroud saw a shot cleared off the line and another strike the post, but the decision to start him could act as a precursor to Wednesday's trip to Barcelona, where Chelsea must score to progress in the Champions League.

"He was a bit unlucky today," said Conte. "But at the same time we must be pleased for his commitment.

"The game [against Barcelona] will be totally different. We are playing against one of the best teams in the world.

"We have to try to have the same focus, the same attention as the first leg against Barcelona. We played a really great game. It was almost the perfect game, if we didn't concede the goal at the last.

"It won't be easy. At the same time we have to try the right solution to play this game.

"The best way sometimes is to speak with the players and to try to find together the right plan to face this game."

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