New Chelsea Role Brings Hazard Joy — Conte

New Chelsea Role Brings Hazard Joy — Conte”

Newcastle marched into an early lead after Dwight Gayle made the most of a defensive mix-up but the hosts soon bounced back with goals from Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata.

Regulars Cesar Azpilicueta and Eden Hazard should return to the starting XI after being benched in midweek as part of Conte's rotational policy during a busy period of fixtures.

"He's among a handful of players who you can say are unplayable on their day". Silver linings and all that. The Belgian, perhaps, should have got the third by converting Danny Drinkwater's lofted through ball, but missed on a one versus one opportunity. "I had to play Fernando Torres because he was fresh".

Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow told Sky Sports after the match that Hazard's penalty annoyed him, but Conte insisted he had no problem with it. Willian, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi are some of the attacking options Conte will have in reserve today.

Matt Ritchie was hopeless in the wing-back role. They couldn't manage with what happened with some fans. We play [Atletico Madrid] on Tuesday, so rest is sometimes good.

When Benitez was brought in to replace Roberto Di Matteo - a Stamford Bridge legend - supporters made their feelings known. He already had his hands full, as he had to deal with a side bereft of confidence, completely devoid of the spirit which had led them to the Champions League title. "I'd be lying if I said it didn't, but it's a great penalty", he said.

"Someone on Twitter said that I said I would never coach Chelsea".

"I saw yesterday the draw and England". "They have to concentrate on supporting the team". The Spain international nodded in from barely a yard out.

"We won the Europa League". "He played a really good game", the Italian said. Now he's handling the rather different challenge of keeping Newcastle in the Premier League. "40 points, for me, means that you will stay up".

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A favourite of Rafael Benitez, this can only take him so far. Conte seems to have settled on his preferred formation, with three central midfielders behind Hazard and Morata up front.

The subsequent seven months proved to be predictably stormy, with the Spaniard, who lost his rag in a memorable press conference at Middlesbrough, remaining persona non grata with many fans despite steadying the ship after a woeful start to the campaign, securing a third-place finish and winning the Europa League in addition to reaching the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions. Not on Saturday though.

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