Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Chelsea future out of Antonio Conte's hands

Manchester City 0-0 Huddersfield Town Stubborn Terriers rated as they hold champions to stalemate PIC Getty Images
Domingo Copeland | 10 May, 2018, 14:26

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says it is not for him to say whether he will still be at Stamford Bridge next season after the Blues drew 1-1 at home against Huddersfield Town.

It's a simply remarkable achievement for Huddersfield who were almost everyone's pick to suffer an instant return down to the Championship following their surprise promotion to the Promised Land last season.

Laurent Depoitre sent Huddersfield into the lead five minutes into the second half and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl made vital saves to secure the point after Marcos Alonso fortuitously leveled for Chelsea.

Chelsea kept up the pressure as they pushed for a victor and Huddersfield keeper Jonas Lossl turned a header by Andreas Christensen on to the post.

Instead of fight for silverware this campaign, fifth-placed Chelsea take on Huddersfield on Wednesday as the battle to qualify for next season's Uefa Champions League goes to the wire.

Cesc Fabregas believes Chelsea's finishing has been the most problematic area of their game this season, after failing to retain the Premier League title. We must accept the final result and the commitment was impressive of the players. One month ago, it was impossible to imagine we could fight for a place in the Champions League. We have to try to do our best. "We stole a point but we needed it".

It left Arsenal as the only side in English League soccer to fail to win a single away point in 2018, having lost all seven road games before Wenger's farewell after 22 years with the club at Huddersfield on Sunday. "We tried to win the game until the end".

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"If we do it on Sunday, then that gives us two extra weeks to agree deals with players in the knowledge Champions League football will be back at Liverpool next season".

We know our opponents have more individual quality so you have to find a solution.

Chelsea are looking certain to miss out on Champions League football for next season and it would take a huge effort from Brighton & Hove Albion to beat Liverpool in the final day of the season for them to have any chance of making the top-four.

This, in turn, had an effect on the team as Chelsea's dominance in the first half was capped off by the lack of end product.

'The situation wasn't in our hands and for sure the possibility is less than before, ' the Italian said.

Although Hazard and Olivier Giroud were named on the bench, Conte denied he was prioritising next weekend's FA Cup final against Manchester United.

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