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Antonio Conte, track suited again tonight at Turf Moor, was this time celebrating a win against the Clarets having seen his side beaten by us on the opening day of the season at Stamford Bridge.

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Tonight he saw his side have the upper hand and said after the 2-1 win: “Tonight I saw a great team spirit. It’s not simple to play against Burnley. If you give them a bit of space, they are ready to put these long balls in and be dangerous with the second ball. We forced them to play these long balls, but when they played them from their own half of the pitch, it was less dangerous.

“We showed great spirit. We didn’t show this spirit in the first half against Southampton. We were a disaster, but in the second half and today, we must be pleased. It’s a great pleasure to see my players with this commitment, desire and will to fight for the ball.”

He included both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud in his team for the first time. “They did a great job,” he said. “Giroud and Morata played a fantastic game and sacrificed themselves greatly without the ball. They put great pressure on the ball in every moment. We surprised Burnley with our two strikers who created a lot of difficulty for their central defenders.

“To see Giroud and Morata playing in this way, to see these good combinations and links between them, and then their desire to run and press without the ball, this is the right way to have satisfaction in the future.

“I am very pleased because they played very well. It’s not simple to see two strikers with this will and desire to fight and sacrifice themselves without the ball. It’s an option for Sunday (FA Cup) or maybe for the future. This is the first time I have tried this solution with the two strikers, and I had great responses from them.”

Sean Dyche saw his Burnley team lose for the first time since the 1-0 defeat at Swansea in mid-February but he saw plenty of positives in the performance despite the result.

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“There was a lot of pride in that performance because it’s difficult against these top sides,” he said. “I’ve spoken this season about us growing and there’s an assured feeling now. Some of their players have played in world cups and been around this division for a while.

“Whatever the noise around their camp, and there’s been little bits and bobs, they are still a top, top side. You only have to look at the changes they made tonight and the fees involved. We know there’s a gap between us and these top sides, but we are shifting it slightly and moving it forwards.

“The mental strength we showed to go in 1-0 down at half time and come out and take the game on is a real sign of how our players are maturing. It’s not easy to do that and I’m so pleased overall that we are consistently taking these challenges on and that there’s more of an assured look.  You can tell the fans see it too. They are not hoping for a lucky moment now; they are looking for it and saying ‘go on then’ and the players are responding.”

He added: “Players like Jόhann were excellent again tonight. He is becoming a rounded Premier League player. There’s still more work to be done, but Kevin Long is coming of age with his performances and others too. These are all players who continue to progress. We’re open-minded about the future but equally we are realistic.

“We are not them and we’re not close to them yet. There’s still a gap, so there’s no disappointments from me tonight in that performance because I know where we are and I know where they are.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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