Conte named Manager of the Year - LMA

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Victory over Arsenal would see Antonio Conte could follow in the footsteps of previous Chelsea managers Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti by securing a league and cup double in his first season in English football. It might be the first and last time a Premier League game is stopped in the first half for a pre-planned substitution in order to give a departing player a guard of honour. At nearly 21%, the Blues don't spurn chances, and it's been exactly this kind of efficiency that has led to a league title and a possible double in Antonio Conte's first season.

Despite Chelsea's success over the last 15 seasons, a Blue manager had not yet received the award from the LMA.

The former Italy manager is the second Italian in a row to win the award, after Claudio Ranieri won past year. The closest Chelsea came to the award was ex-assistant coach Brendan Rodgers winning when he helmed Liverpool in 2014.

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Laviolette joked that probably means he's been fired a lot. "Unfortunately we weren't able to elevate enough to get by them". That didn't even include the throngs packing the plaza outside the arena's front doors and the park across the street.

Individually, it was Conte's fourth successive domestic title, having won three in a row with Juventus in Serie A.

The club had organised parades following each of their four previous Premier League title wins, but feel continuing the tradition at the weekend would be "inappropriate" after the Manchester Arena attack killed 22 people and injured 59.

Asked if he would be ready if selected by manager Arsene Wenger, Mertesacker responded: "I can not tell you". Jordan Pickford kicked it out after a request from Diego Costa. Hazard also won a goal of the month award, while Pedro earned two.

At the bottom of the league, Brighton now head the market for the most likely to go down at 11/8 but expect that to change with the victor of the Championship play-off final between Huddersfield Town and Reading. "I hope I deserved this", Conte said. It's a great place to play and what better occasion than the FA Cup final.

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