Antonio Conte hailed Diego Costa and Chelsea’s entire squad for their will to win as they captured a late 2-1 win over Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium.
Chelsea fought their way to a late 2-1 win over Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday. Willian gave Chelsea the lead, which was then alleviated by a penalty conversion from Jonathan Walters. And as the game looked to be heading towards a draw, Gary Cahill stepped up to provide the winner.
Antonio Conte was ecstatic with the late goal and reflected on his side’s undying will to win the game, which ultimately led to the winner, in the post-match conference.
“ It is not easy at this point in the season to come here and play Stoke, a strong team with good quality and good tactical organisation, but we showed from the start to the end a great will to win and I am very pleased for this. My players were prepared to fight for this game because it was not easy.”
Antonio Conte, though, reserved special praise for Diego Costa, who, despite not scoring a goal, was a continuous threat to the Potters’ defence, all of this after receiving a yellow card very early into the game.
“ It is not simple to receive a yellow card after a few minutes but Diego has been showing this season, not only this game, to be very disciplined. He showed me great commitment and thought for the team, not only for himself, and I want this type of behaviour from my players.”
“ He was great in a difficult game and always created danger for Stoke’s defensive line. It is normal for a team to try to make a player angry so he reacts and commits another foul, but the great news is Diego is showing to be a great player in this aspect because I know in the past he has sometimes not finished games.”
The win sees Chelsea extend their lead atop the Premier League to 13 points, albeit with Tottenham yet to play Southampton on Sunday. With just 10 games to go, Chelsea are in pole position to recapture the Premier League crown and barring a miraculous or disastrous turnaround, it looks like the most plausible result as of now.