Antonio Conte's post-match embrace with Messi leaves Chelsea squad irritated

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  • Chelsea players were left irritated by Antonio link sbo Conte’s warm embrace with Lionel Messi after their 4-1 aggregate loss to Barcelona.The Argentine was the difference over the course of the two matches, especially at the Camp Nou on Wednesday where he scored twice and assisted Ousmane Dembele’s first goal for the Catalan giants.In the former Juventus coach’s post-match press conference, he labelled the Argentine international as a ‘super, super, super, top player’, however it was the way the Italian sought Messi out on the pitch which irked his players.It’s an image that has gone round the world numerous times over by Thursday morning, at the final whistle he stormed onto the playing surface and embraced the iconic forward, all whilst his team trudged off down the tunnel, dejected after such a defeat.Such an embrace was obviously cordial and link sbo Conte was even picture smiling and chatting with the player who had just condemned Chelsea to a disappointing Champions League exit.To put this into some context, there is a feeling amongst Chelsea supporters and the British press that no matter what happens the 2017/18 season will be Conte’s last at Stamford Bridge.His relationship with the club’s hierarchy has become strained and he’s been overly critical of the ability within his squad with regards to being able to challenge for the European crown.Whilst the coach quickly swatted away any questions over his intentions by talking to the La Masia graduate, there is a concern that such an image could further the small divide between players and coach at the London club.”I think that when you have the opportunity to give a compliment to a player like Messi, you have to do it,” he explained in his press conference.”Messi showed tonight with how well he played that he is the best in the world.”

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