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06 October 2016

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12/08/2017 - 18:43 BST

Chelsea Boss Antonio Conte Bemoans Loss of Composure In Shock Burnley Defeat


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte feels his men lost their heads in the first half
of their 3-2 home loss against Burnley, after Gary Cahill’s red card, but has hailed their second half fightback.

Chelsea had an inauspicious start to the season when they lost Cahill to a straight red card within the first 15 minutes and Sam Vokes opened the scoring for Burnley at Stamford Bridge midway through the first half. The ten men of Chelsea battled on but goals from Stephen Ward and Vokes again towards the end of the half meant the visitors went into half time three goals up at the home of the champions.

The Blues had more of the ball in the second period and Alvaro Morata made more of an impact after replacing Michy Batshuayi just before the hour mark as he pulled one goal back for his team in 69th minute.

But things got worse from Chelsea when Cesc Fabregas also received his marching orders in the 81st minute to make things even more difficult for the home side as Conte’s men played with nine men towards the end of the game.


However, the fixture had more twists and turns to offer and David Luiz brought down the deficit to just one goal after he latched on to Morata’s header to provide hope to the Stamford Bridge faithful in the 88th minute.  

Robbie Brady hit the post just a minute later for Burnley and Chelsea huffed and puffed in injury time to find the equalising goal but suffered their first opening day defeat in 20 years.

Conte believes that he might need to train his players with one or two men fewer after the spate of red cards they have received in recent games but he didn’t want to talk about the referee’s performance.

The Chelsea manager told the BBC: "The sending off of Cahill was a key moment, because to play the rest of the game with 10 and then nine men is not easy.

“In recent games we have finished with nine or 10 men.

"I have to try to adapt a new system and to anticipate playing with nine or 10 men in the next game. I don't want to comment on the referee, absolutely not.”

He was happy with the fight his Chelsea side showed in the second half but believes after losing Cahill in the first period, his team lost their heads for a while that led to the three goals from Burnley.

The Italian continued: "We tried until the end to reach a good result against Burnley – it was a pity because our fight in the second half was very good.

“But our first half we kept losing our heads – after the red card we lost our heads, conceded two goals and then it’s very difficult to change the final result."