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Antonio Conte blasted Chelsea’s lack of hunger after becoming the first English club to lose in the Champions League this season with a ruthless 3-0 rout by AS Roma. Conte lamented that the English champions who would have advanced to the last 16 with a win “lacked everything” after a match where they went a goal down after 38 seconds, the first of a Stephan El Shaarawy double.
El Shaarawy made it 2-0 after 36 minutes when ex-Roma defender Antonio Rudiger failed to control Radja Nainggolan’s long ball forward. Argentine Diego Perotti scored the third midway through the second half, before missing a chance for a fourth.
“Roma proved to have more hunger, more desire, more will to fight and to beat us. We lacked everything,” complained Conte. “If we think because our name is Chelsea the opponent is fearful, this is not the right way. We must have a great desire in every game.”
The former Italy and Juventus boss took over Chelsea in 2016, winning the Premier League title in his first season. But this campaign they are trailing nine points behind leaders Manchester City. “What I am most disappointed about is the performance in the second half. I believe in the first half we played well,” he continued. “We then created many chances but we weren’t clinical or ruthless enough to convert them.
“There is great disappointment for our second half, because I didn’t see positive things, it was really bad for a team like us.” Chelsea can still qualify from Group C as Atletico Madrid were held 1-1 by Qarabag in Madrid.
Meanwhile, Layvin Kurzawa scored an unlikely hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain powered into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday with a 5-0 rout of Anderlecht, while Bayern Munich joined them in the knockout stage.
Marco Verratti curled in a terrific opening goal his first in Europe since September 2014 on the half-hour at the Parc des Princes, with Brazilian superstar Neymar firing in a second before the break.-AFP