Chelsea will require 18 more points to win the English Premier League title, manager Antonio Conte told his players on Wednesday after their 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London.
Chelsea’s lead was cut to seven points after they lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace at the weekend, but they preserved their advantage over Tottenham Hotspur by seeing off City.
Spurs will end the season on 89 points if they win their final eight games and Conte says his side must win six of their remaining fixtures — which would take them to 90 points — to be sure of the title.
“I like to say only the winners write history,” Conte said. “I have intelligent players. When there is the possibility to send some message, I think these players don’t need this message. They know very well the situation. The only message I send them is that we must think Tottenham could win eight games. For this reason, we must be focused and try to win six games. If we can do this, we will win the title. Otherwise it will be a good season, but not a great season.”
With Tottenham having come from behind to win 3-1 at Swansea City, Chelsea’s lead would have been cut to four points if they had lost to Manchester City.
Chelsea took a 10th-minute lead when Eden Hazard scored via a deflection off his Belgium teammate Vincent Kompany, who made his first City start since January.
A loose kick by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois enabled Sergio Aguero to level for City in the 26th minute, but Fernandinho’s trip on Pedro gave Hazard a chance to restore Chelsea’s lead from the penalty spot 10 minutes before halftime, which he took at the second attempt after Willy Caballero saved his penalty.
City remain fourth, 14 points below Chelsea, and with Arsenal and Manchester United hot on their heels — both four points back with a game in hand — manager Pep Guardiola knows they face a scrap for a top-four finish.
“Today the Premier League has gone,” Guardiola said. “We have to think about the last seven, eight games left to get in the Champions League.”
Despite the result, Guardiola professed himself “honored” to be in charge of City’s players and said quality “in the boxes” had been the only difference between the two teams.
“I’m a lucky guy to be the manager of this club and especially these players,” the Catalan said. “We played with huge personality and not waiting. I saw many teams play here with six at the back. I like to convince our players to play in that way. You can win, you can lose. I will continue to the last day.”
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly