Why I Benched Eden Hazard – Chelsea Coach, Conte

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Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte has defended his decision to start with forward, Eden Hazard on the bench during the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Huddersfield in Wednesday’s Premier League clash.

Conte started Willian, Pedro and Alvaro Morata in Chelsea’s attack line and the trio produced a lackluster performance as the West London club hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League were dealt a major blow.

Laurent Depoitre opened scoring for the visitors five minutes after the break, before Marcos Alonso equalized for Antonio Conte’s men.

Asked if he had rested Hazard ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup final with Manchester United, Conte responded: “No, absolutely not.

“I made a rotation also against Burnley. To make rotations means to play people like [Alvaro] Morata, Willian and [Andreas] Christensen who could play every game.

“We have a squad that can win, today we spent a lot of energy against Liverpool. This is football and to speak one day, you have always risk.”

Conte, however, admitted that Chelsea will struggle to qualify for next season’s Champions League following the draw.

“The situation wasn’t in our hands and for sure the possibility is less than before,” Conte said.

“At the same time we have to try and to do our best. Like today, we played an intense game with a will and desire to get three points.

“We weren’t able to win the game, this is football.”

Chelsea will now play their final EPL match against Newcastle United this weekend.

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