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Conte praises Burnley after Chelsea held

Press Association logoPress Association 12/02/2017 Mark Walker

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte paid tribute to Burnley despite his obvious disappointment after seeing his Premier League title-chasers held to a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.

Conte's side, now 10 points clear of nearest challengers Tottenham at the top of the table, appeared to be on their way to a 17th win in 19 league games when Pedro fired them into a deserved early lead.

But Burnley, chasing an eighth straight win at Turf Moor in all competitions, hit back through Robbie Brady's stunning free-kick on his full debut and demonstrated why they have one of the best home records in the top flight this season.

"We must be disappointed to take only one point," said Conte, whose side struggled to create clear-cut chances in the face of fierce opposition.

"I have great respect for every type of football. I don't like to judge the other.

"I have great respect for any team, for any manager absolutely.

"Burnley are third in the table with the games played at home. It means they are doing a great job at home. That's the best compliment for them."

Burnley, bidding for a sixth straight home win in the Premier League, restricted Chelsea to snatching at half-chances and spurned a golden opportunity to grab a second goal when Matt Lowton was denied by Thibaut Courtois' brilliant save just before the break.

When asked why Burnley, promoted in May, are proving so formidable at home, Conte said: "The pitch is small and this is better for the team that has to defend and play this long ball.

"You have less pitch to cover and then there is a good atmosphere with the supporters and I think it's good.

"It's right to have this type of atmosphere at Burnley and for all these reasons they have all these points in the table.

"We put a lot of energy on the pitch today and we took only one point.

"We found a team that thought to disrupt our football, to play this long ball and to fight the second ball."

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