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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Antonio Conte: Lack of a true top goalscorer has cost Chelsea

Antonio Conte has conceded that Chelsea have struggled this season without the presence of a recognised goalscoring threat in the final third.
Eden Hazard leads the charge as top goalscorer of the club this season on 12 league goals, while record-signing Alvaro Morata has only netted on 11 occasions since joining from Real Madrid in the summer.
In his debut season with the Blues, Conte lifted the Premier League title with the help of marksman Diego Costa, who scored 20 league goals, which left him fourth in the race for the 2016/17 Golden Boot.
The west London club managed to close the gap to within just two points of Spurs - though Mauricio Pochettino's men have a game in hand - as they edged out Swansea City 1-0.
However, the Blues look unlikely to claim a position in next season's Champions League, and Conte believes the lack of a top goalscorer as led to his side suffering this season.
He told reporters (via the Daily Mail): "Our top scorer has scored only 12 goals.
"And if your best scorer has scored only 12 goals it means it is very difficult to fight for something this season.
"This is the reality, the stats speak very well."
Despite Chelsea winning 1-0 against the Swans, Conte believes his side should be burying more chances, as he criticises a number of glorious chances squandered by his players during the match.
He continued: "I think we could be more clinical to kill the game.
"But instead we kept the game in balance and it happened against West Ham the same.
"We dominated and created many chances but we scored only one goal, and in the final Swansea had the chance to draw.
"I think this season we are not clinical, but in the last period."
Olivier Giroud was signed from London rivals Arsenal in January to bolster Conte's attacking options, but the Frenchman has so far managed to only net twice in the Premier League since switching allegiances.
Chelsea host Liverpool next weekend in one of the biggest matches of the season for the Blues, as a win would take Conte's men to within three points of the Anfield club.
However, Conte's most likely chance of success this season will come on May 19 as his side take on Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

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