Conte hints at unhappiness with Hazard work-rate


Antonio Conte has revealed he chose to take Eden Hazard off against Manchester United because the Belgian was tired. Conte started Hazard back in his favoured position on the left wing at Old Trafford after deploying the 27-year-old as a 'false No.9' days earlier in the 1-1 draw against Barcelona. The move worked early on as Hazard set up Willian for the opening goal of the Premier League match in the 32nd minute - just as he did against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Romelu Lukaku went on to equalise just seven minutes later and, with the score 1-1, Conte made the surprising decision to take Hazard off for Pedro in the 73rd minute.
Two minutes later, substitute Jesse Lingard scored to hand United the lead, which resulted in Conte then sending on striker Olivier Giroud and midfielder Cesc Fabregas. It didn't change the end result, however, and after the damaging defeat, Conte revealed just why he chose to take Hazard off against United - saying that the Belgian's energy levels were depleted. Speaking to reporters, Conte said: "It was a tactical decision. "You have to keep the same performance for 90 minutes. We didn’t have a great balance. Every single player has to try to work with and without the ball, otherwise we lose our balance and then we lose the game. "His [Hazard’s] energy finished. In the first half he ran a lot, and in the second half he started in the same way, but when I see a player is a bit tired my task is to find a different solution." Chelsea's next game is away to Premier League leaders Manchester City next Sunday.

No comments: