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Antonio Conte was sacked as Chelsea manager on Friday, less than two months after leading the Blues to triumph in the FA Cup final.
His departure was confirmed by Chelsea in a statement and comes a year on from the Italian winning the Premier League in his debut season with the club. The statement read:
“During Antonio’s time at the club, we won our sixth league title and eighth FA Cup. In the title winning season, the club set a then-record 30 wins in a 38-game Premier League season, as well as a club-record 13 consecutive league victories.
“We wish Antonio every success in his future career.”
Squawka Football took a look at his impressive achievements at Stamford Bridge:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Since becoming Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte was the first manager to:
🔵 Complete a league double over Pep Guardiola
🔵 Win 30 Premier League games in a single season
🔵 Beat Jose Mourinho in an English domestic cup final
Despite the FA Cup victory, he enjoyed much less success in his second campaign with the Blues as they finished fifth in the Premier League, 30 points behind champions Manchester City.
Per the Daily Mail‘s Matt Barlow, it had long been expected Conte would leave Chelsea at the end of the 2017-18 season despite his contract running to 2019 due, in part, to a prolonged dispute with the club’s board over transfer policy.
ESPN FC’s Liam Twomey questioned the timing of the move to relieve him of his duties:
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
Chelsea sacking Conte now only makes the start this week look more farcical. At least all parties can finally move on, but this should never have dragged on until July. A £9m pay-off is cheap compared to the financial consequences of another below-par season #cfc
Chelsea enjoyed a largely excellent opening half of last term as they suffered just one defeat in 20 matches in all competitions from the beginning of November to late January.
But a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal that saw them knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the semi-final stage on Jan. 24 then prompted a significant downturn in form.
Chelsea subsequently lost six of their final 14 matches in the Premier League to drop out of the UEFA Champions League spots.
They suffered back-to-back heavy defeats at the hands of relative minnows Bournemouth and Watford as January turned into February and then lost to Manchester United, City and Tottenham Hotspur in the space of four games.
An abject 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United on the final day of the season represented just how far Chelsea had fallen, and their defeat of Manchester United in the FA Cup final was not enough to make up for a run of poor displays.
They also were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage, going down 4-1 on aggregate to Barcelona.
Conte, 48, could well have turned Chelsea’s form around next season had he remained in his post.
He is a manager of the highest calibre and is unlikely to be short of offers for new roles now he has left Chelsea.