Antonio Conte rejects claim he wants to leave Chelsea

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"He is a friend but he is a journalist and I have great respect for him but I can tell you I'm not talking [to him] since one year".

Morata has endured a hard first year with Chelsea, and his fortunes weren't improving as he headed over from a corner, before having another effort disallowed for offside.

Back in the groove, Hazard provided the impetus for another flowing Chelsea move that saw Willian's shot pushed over by West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart.

It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for City to seal the title on home turf against their near neighbours, but Mourinho claims the chance to delay them wrapping up the Premier League title offers no extra motivation.

Aside from Hernandez, two West Ham players impressed.

It's claimed Enrique, who is also a target for Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, is refusing to be rushed into making a decision and Abramovich is now looking elsewhere - with Allegri the man now tipped to succeed his fellow Italian at Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Javier Hernandez came off the bench to haunt Chelsea again, scoring his ninth goal in 14 games vs. the Blues.

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Conte delivered the Premier League title past year in his first season in England but has suffered a demoralising campaign this time around, with the club lying eight points off a place in the top four.

Chelsea FC still have the chance to end the season with a trophy, with the Blues set to take on Southampton in the FA Cup semi-finals later this month. Or, they could have turned it on, playing without pressure and a renewed sense of attacking goal.

Chelsea supporters are entitled to ask precisely where this Chelsea has been in recent weeks, when the attacking play has been one-paced and the intensity badly lacking.

Conte confessed recently his future at Stamford Bridge was in doubt after setbacks in the Premier League and Champions League.

There was a minute's applause before kickoff, with Chelsea's players all wearing No 8 warm-up shirts in recognition of Wilkins' old jersey. "But this is the moment we have to face with the greatest desire to change the situation".

Michael Cox is the editor of zonalmarking.net and a contributor to ESPN FC.

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