Chelsea vs Huddersfield: Why I benched Eden Hazard - Conte

Kristopher Nichols
May 13, 2018

Huddersfield Town were left celebrating after securing their Premier League safety on Wednesday with a dramatic and resilient 1-1 draw at Chelsea, a result that looks nearly certain to condemn Swansea City to relegation.

Laurent Depoitre scored the opener for Huddersfield in the 50th minute before Marcos Alonso equalised in the 62nd minute.

Even if Chelsea win their final Premier League fixture against Newcastle next week they are reliant on Liverpool losing at Anfield to Brighton if they are to finish in the top four and qualify for next seasons Champions League.

And Conte, who rested Eden Hazard and was without goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois due to a back injury, accepts a top-four finish will now be hard for Chelsea.

"I don't like to comment on speculation", said Conte.

"At the same time we have to try and to do our best".

"For sure we had so many chances and you must be good to take them".

"It's very hard to explain the draw today because when you have 82% possession, and create many chances, concede only counter-attack, and draw the game... it's very hard to explain", said the Italian.

Chelsea are now fifth in the Premier League table, and sit two points behind London neighbours Tottenham, with a further three points behind Liverpool who they defeated last season.

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"But it's a pity because I saw a fantastic commitment from my players".

Huddersfield, meanwhile, is in danger of relegation as it enters Wednesday in 17th place in the table, just three points clear of the drop zone.

Ex-Chelsea star Tony Cascarino still believes in Alvaro Morata and has informed him to shoot on sight to score more goals.

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

The Italian has opted to start striker Alvaro Morata who returns from injury in place of Olivier Giroud, while he also brings in goalkeeper Willy Caballero in place of the injured Thibaut Courtois, along with Andreas Christensen, Davide Zappacosta, Pedro, and Willian in a much changed side.

"It's stupid if we think rotation was a problem".

"He is Chelsea's player and must be ready to play tomorrow [vs Huddersfield] and next season". At Burnley we won the rotation was good. We tried with all of our strength to win but the result penalised our team a lot.

Morata made a promising start to his Chelsea FC career with nine goals in eight games but his form soon took a downturn. For this reason, they wanted to defend very deep. It can clinch safety with a win or draw, though in its last match against Chelsea, Huddersfield was defeated 3-1.

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