Antonio Conte makes bitter claim about other English Champions League teams

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Antonio Conte's Chelsea face an uphill task in the Champions League knockout stages after failing to top their group last night.

The Blues could only draw 1-1 with Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge, which allowed Roma to finish first on their head-to-head record, as they beat already-eliminated Qarabag 1-0.

Having fallen behind early in the second half through Saul Niguez, the Spaniards' first away goal in the competition since facing Leicester in April, Chelsea equalised with Stefan Savic's own goal with 15 minutes left, but they were unable to find a winner.

The result leaves Chelsea ruing their 3-3 draw at home to the Italians in October, as they threw away a two-goal first-half lead, and almost lost but for Eden Hazard's equaliser.

Conte's side could now face Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain in the next round of the competition, as opposed to potentially meeting Basel or Sevilla had they won the group.

However, Chelsea's progression does mean the English sides are on course to set a record for five clubs in the knockout stages.

Manchester United won their group last night, while Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have already secured first place in theirs before they play their final matches tonight.

Liverpool need a draw against Spartak Moscow at Anfield to join the other four teams, though a win would secure them top spot.

Given English clubs' struggles in the competition in recent years, it marks a serious achievement for the Premier League, and shows the improvement of the teams this year.

Conte, though, doesn't believe their success is completely down to their quality, with the bitter claim he made after Chelsea's draw last night.


The Italian believes his team had a much harder group than the other teams, which is why they failed to come top, saying it was 'easy' for the four others to qualify.

"To go with five English teams into the next round, that means the level of the league is very high," he said.

"There are also really good coaches, and this Champions League is showing this.

"It was not simple, but easy for a lot of these teams to go into the next round."

Chelsea FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League

It is a rather bizarre claim from Conte, with Spurs managing to a win a group with holders Real Madrid and former winners Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea were also the seeded team out of their four, having won the Premier League, which makes them stronger on paper than Roma and Atletico, who came second and third in their tables respectively.

Conte's men only have three potential opponents for the next round if Liverpool win their group tonight, and Chelsea fans will be praying for Besiktas, rather than PSG or Barcelona.

Alvaro Morata
Eden Hazard
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur

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