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FA Cup

Chelsea Boss Explains Why Hazard & Costa Were Benched

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte has explained why he started Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench in the FA Cup semi-final.

Read: Chelsea Sink Spurs In Six-Goal Thriller To Book FA Cup Final Spot

The star duo were surprisingly omitted from the starting line up, with Willian and Michy Batshuayi hand starting berths.

However, Hazard came off the bench and bagged a goal and an assist as the Blues won 4-2 at Wembley Stadium.

"Our plan was this," Conte was quoted as saying by ESPNFC. "I tried also to tell our players to stay in the game, because [if] we pass more time [on the clock], it was better for us. Then I decided last 30 minutes to put Eden and Diego in, and then Cesc [Fabregas], because don't forget Cesc was very important also for us.

"I must be pleased because in this game I involved all my players in our idea, in our football," the manager added. "I think it's very important in this part of the season that everyone, every single player, feels a part of this project.

"In this part of the season when you know you have to play three tough games [in a week], you must make strong decisions and take responsibility to make these decisions. It's not easy to decide to start the game without two important players, Hazard and Diego, but I think you must take this responsibility and you must involve your players in your plan and then take this risk."

Read: Chelsea Star Reveals The EPL's Most Physical

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