Antonio Conte says West Ham draw sums up Chelsea's season
Last Updated: 09/04/18 9:15am
Antonio Conte felt Chelsea's 1-1 draw with West Ham summed up their frustrating season, admitting the result severely dented their chances of a top four finish in the Premier League.
The Blues dominated the match at Stamford Bridge but only had Cesar Azpilicueta's first-half goal to show for it.
Alvaro Morata had two goals disallowed for offside while West Ham keeper Joe Hart suddenly began to display the sort of form which not so long ago made him England's undisputed No 1.
Within three minutes of coming on as a second-half substitute, Javier Hernandez swept in an equaliser to snatch a point for West Ham.
"We must be frustrated with this game, for the final result," Conte said. "But I think this game describes very clearly our season.
"This season we have struggled and this game describes our season. In many games you have good performances, you create chances, but if you are not clinical...
"How many times have I said we didn't take the chances? A lot of times, and then with one chance we conceded a goal."
The stuttering champions are now 10 points behind Tottenham and Blues boss Conte admits a top-four finish looks an increasingly forlorn hope.
"We must be realistic," he added.
"You must win this game if you want to reach a target, in this case we want to reach a place in the Champions League."
Ahead of kick-off at Stamford Bridge, former Chelsea skipper Ray Wilkins, who died earlier this week, was honoured by his former club with warm tributes.
Chelsea players warmed up wearing shirts bearing the No 8, the same number Wilkins wore when he played for the club and the former midfielder, who also featured on the front of the match-day programme, was also remembered before kick-off with a minute's applause.
Conte thought the touching tributes were thoroughly deserved.
"I considered a lot the tributes for Ray," the Italian said.
"We are talking about a really good person, a legend for this club, an ambassador of football. We knew very well him in Italy, because he spent a lot of time playing with Milan.
"I think he deserved this tribute. We are talking about a tragedy. It's very difficult to accept this tragedy. For sure, it's difficult to find the right words for the family in this moment.
"It was a really bad news for us, for the club, for all."