The Italian has turned Chelsea’s fortunes around since their defeat at the Emirates and now he wants payback
Antonio Conte will use Chelsea’s defeat at Arsenal earlier this season as motivation when the two teams meet again at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
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Arsenal inflicted the Blues’ heaviest defeat of the season when they ran out 3-0 winners in September, with Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil scoring before half-time.
It prompted a switch in formation from Conte and Chelsea have not looked back ever since. Now they are nine points clear of third-placed Arsenal and Conte is out for revenge.
“It seems a long time ago, it’s important to remember the defeat against Arsenal,” he said.
“It was a bad defeat. In my mind it’s present, always present. I hope in the mind of our players also.
“It will be very difficult, it’s important to remember that game. A lot of things have changed, but for sure we are a team, we want to have a good game.
“We have nine points [over Arsenal], but if we lose it will be six. We must pay attention.
“We must continue the momentum. We are in good shape, playing good football with intensity.
“If we win the game tomorrow, it’s a good lead.
“I’m sure it will be a really tough game. Arsenal beat us already, they have the possibility to repeat it.
“We need to stay focused, have great concentration, the will to fight, to win.
“I like to repeat to my players to look at ourselves, rather than the other.”
Arsenal suffered a shock home defeat to Watford on Tuesday, but Conte sympathised with Arsene Wenger’s side.
“I watched the Watford game. The final result didn’t tell the truth,” he added.
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“Arsenal were unlucky. Watford played very well but Arsenal had a lot of opportunities to draw or win the game. It was a strange result.”
Conte also attended Manchester City’s 4-0 win at West Ham on Wednesday and came away reminded of the challenge he still faces to end his debut Premier League campaign with the title.
“If anyone thinks that the league is finished … I’m not so sure.”