Arsenal and Chelsea served up probably the best match of the festive period at The Emirates on Wednesday night. The two played out a thrilling 2-2 draw but Antonio Conte wasn’t a happy camper after the final whistle. Alvaro Morata has not had the most productive of times in recent weeks, scoring just once since December 2nd.
He was guilty of some awful misses against Arsenal, including when spurning a gilt edged opportunity in the final throes. His finish lacked conviction, and it was the effort of a man low on confidence. His manager insists only hard work will pull him out of his current slump.
Conte: Morata Must Improve
Chelsea came from a goal down to lead 2-1 vs Arsenal, but a late Bellerin screamer drew Arsenal level. With time ticking away Alvaro Morata bore down on goal with just Cech to beat, but his finish was weak. Conte reacted furiously to the miss on the sideline, but he had calmed down a bit after the match. He said:
“Alvaro is not liking this period. He has to continue to work, continue to improve. For the striker it’s very important to score. In this case I repeat it’s a pity, because he had many chances to score. But at the same time I’m very happy for his commitment, his effort for the team.”
“All I can tell him is to continue to work, to stay calm, to continue to work in this way for the team. If he does the chances will arrive for him and also for the other players. I repeat, I understand for the striker it’s not easy when you don’t score.”
As the fast and furious festive period draws to a close, Chelsea will probably be satisfied with their haul of 8 points. Two home wins and two away draws is a decent return, and they are only a point behind Man Utd, who hang onto 2nd spot.
Man City are careering away at the top of the table, and the title looks theirs to lose. Chelsea won’t be happy to surrender their Premier League crown, but they will still want to make sure they finish in the top 4. They are well on course to do just that, and if City do falter they will be there waiting to pick up the pieces.