Conte admits forcing Chelsea striker to play in West Brom win

By Japheth Ogila: Tuesday, February 13th 2018 at 10:02 GMT +3 | Gossip & Rumours
Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard celebrate against West Brom [Photo: Courtesy]

Antonio Conte was a man under immense pressure prior to the West Brom clash after watching his team being mauled by Watford in a 4-1 rout last week. The Italian admitted that he made selection errors in a match that saw French midfielder Tiemuoe Bakayoko dismissed after two bookings.

But the English champions bounced back with a win over the struggling Magpies to leap to fourth place. Eden Hazard connected with new signing Olivier Giroud in the edge of the box and scored gifting the Blues the lead before the first half ended.  Victor Moses doubled the lead before Hazard added a third from the edge of the penalty box making it 3-0.

Conte left the Stamford Bridge a happy man after getting back to winning ways. However, former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud became the victim of the game. The Frenchman was knocked on the head and could be seen limping before being substituted by Alvaro Morata.

Conte has accepted that he may have forced the Frenchman to play in this game. Even though the Italian may have not explained further on what transpired, according to his body language, he meant that the former Arsenal man may have not been fit for the match.

“I think we forced Giroud to play, also because with [Alvaro] Morata injured I think that it was very important to have a point of reference in him.” Said Conte, while speaking to Daily Star of the UK.

Conte has also sent a message to the Chelsea fans for what he termed as their selfless support to the team as they sought their third win in 2018.

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Blues will be facing Hull City at home on Friday in FA Cup clash as they prepare to host Spanish giants Barcelona in the round 16 first leg encounter.