‘Destiny’ puts Morata, Conte together
CHELSEA’S NEW signing Alvaro Morata believes he was destined to play under manager Antonio Conte at a club good enough to compete with Europe’s elite.
Morata had joined Juventus ahead of the 2014-15 season, shortly after Conte had left the side to take charge of the Italian national side.
The pair have now been united at Stamford Bridge and the Spanish striker was confident he can adapt to Conte’s tactics.
“I know Antonio wanted me in the past and I really want to work with Antonio, and finally destiny put us together,” Morata told the club website.
“It was disappointing in 2014 when he went to Italy, but I played well and had a good year at Juventus, but I really want to work with this coach and finally I can.
“I know his work, the staff. I know it is a lot of tactics and I really like this game and I know how to play with this system.”
The 24-year-old Spain international backed the defending Premier League champions to go toe-to-toe with Europe’s top sides, including his former club Real Madrid, who won their second successive Champions League title last season.
“There are very good players here and I think we can do something amazing this year,” the Spaniard who took the vacant number nine jersey added.
“It is hard to leave Madrid but it is not so hard when you come to a club like Chelsea, with these players and with this coach, and I think we can play against Real Madrid and Barcelona and win.”
Meanwhile, German winger Thomas Muller scored two sublime goals as Bayern Munich capitalised on a fast start to edge Chelsea 3-2 in the opening match of the International Champions Cup Singapore friendly tournament yesterday.
Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti had implored his side to show improvement following a 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan in Shenzhen last week and his players answered the call with a scintillating opening spell as they raced to a 3-0 lead in 26 minutes.
Chelsea adopted the 3-4-3 formation that had served them well on their way to the Premier League title but new Bayern signing James Rodriguez, Muller and Franck Ribery were able to unlock the English champions’ defence with alarming regularity.
After a fairly pedestrian opening, Bayern full back Rafinha struck for the German champions in the sixth minute, cutting in from the right wing and drilling home a low drive into the opposite corner past a sprawling Thibaut Courtois.
Bayern were looking irresistible and doubled the lead six minutes later when Ribery skipped past Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side of the penalty area, then dinked over an inviting cross for Muller to volley home his first goal from close range.
Rodriguez appeared comfortable in a roaming role behind striker Robert Lewandowski and although the Colombian spurned several chances to extend Bayern’s lead, Ancelotti would have been pleased with what he saw of his new recruit.
Muller then made it 3-0 with a spectacular long-range effort after 26 minutes when the German international strolled forward from halfway towards a passive Chelsea defence and unleashed a curling shot past Courtois from 25 metres. – Reuters