‘Des­tiny’ puts Mo­rata, Conte to­gether

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

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

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