Antonio Conte criticized Chelsea’s lack of hunger after becoming the first English club to lose in the Champions League this season with a ruthless 3-0 defeat at AS Roma.
Conte lamented that the English champions, who would have qualified for the knockout round with a win, “missed everything” after a game where they scored one goal after 38 seconds, the first of a double of Stephan El Shaarawy.
Shaarawy made it 2-0 after 36 minutes when former Roma defender Antonio Rudiger could not control Radja Nainggolan’s long ball. Argentina’s Diego Perotti scored the middle of the second half, before losing the chance of a quarter.
“The Roma have been more hungry, more eager, more willing to fight and conquer us, we have missed everything,” complained Conte.
“If we think because our name is Chelsea, the opponent is scared, it’s not the right way, we should have a great desire in every game.”
The former boss of Italy and Juventus took over Chelsea in 2016, winning the Premier League title in his first season. But this campaign is behind nine points behind Manchester City leaders.
“What disappointed me the most is the performance in the second half, I think we played well in the first half,” he said.
“Then we created many opportunities, but we were not clinical enough or ruthless to convert them.
“There is a big disappointment for our second half, because I did not see any positive things, it was really bad for a team like us.”
– Missing hunger
Chelsea can still qualify in Group C, since Atlético de Madrid was 1-1 with Qarabag in Madrid.
The Conte team are four points clear of Atlético and can qualify for a win in their next match in Azerbaijan on 22 November.
“We have to find the hunger that we showed last season, and sometimes this season, but this season comes and goes, we have to find consistency,” added the Italian, who had expressed optimism before Tuesday’s game. . to come back from an injury
And in a group where they were considered outsiders, the Gypsies are now leaders with two missing matches, one point ahead of Chelsea and five ahead of the Spaniards.
A draw in his next match against Atlético would see Eusebio Di Francesco’s team in the knockout round in his first season at the club where he played during his football career.
The Serie A finalists proved strong if they did not inspire the Italian League this season with three consecutive 1-0 victories in fifth place.
But against Chelsea, they let it explode, after a draw of 3-3 at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago.
In front of an ecstatic crowd of 55,000 spectators at the Stadio Olympico, El Shaarawy launched the Roma party.
But despite a perfect start, the Roma did not do everything in their own way, as Eden Hazard, who was by far the most dangerous player in Chelsea, took three good chances.
The visitors had two more chances before the break of Marcos Alonso and Tiemoue Bakayoko, after the hosts have already qualified.
Di Francesco praised the impressive performance of the team.
“We have shown that we are a team that is improving, but we must not stop now, we must move forward.
“We must take this spirit with us in all competitions throughout the campaign, and if we do, I am confident that we can achieve something important.”