Conte: Why I Subbed Hazard
Chelsea Manager Antonio Conte: Why I Substituted Eden Hazard
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has explained why he decided to take Eden Hazard off in the Blues' 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Italian tactician saw his side start the match brightly, with Alvaro Morata hitting the post in the opening minutes, and about half an hour later Willian scored the game's first goal in the 32nd minute.
With the match finely poised at 1-1 in the second half, Conte decided to replace Hazard with former FC Barcelona star Pedro, a decision he insisted was a tactical one.
"It was a tactical decision," Conte said, as quoted by ESPN.
"We have to keep the same performance for 90 minutes. Otherwise, we don't have a great balance. Every single player has to work with the ball, without the ball; otherwise, we lose our balance and the game.
"I think he finished his energy. In the first half, he ran a lot. In the second half, he started the same way but when I see a player is a bit tired, my task is to find a different solution."
Goals from former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku and England international Jesse Lingard gifted Jose Mourinho's side a narrow victory, and pushed them back into second place in the Premier League, while the London club remains in fifth spot.
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