Saturday, 10 March 2018

Antonio Conte Insist he will continue to play Eden Hazard as false nine

Antonio Conte insisted that he will not hesitate to deploy Eden Hazard as a false nine again, despite the Belgium international voicing his frustration with playing the role in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat against Manchester City.
Hazard said he left the pitch with the impression that he "hadn't played a game of football" after touching the ball just 32 times in 89 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, in a position that required him to jump for numerous high clearances out of defence as Chelsea failed to register a single shot on target.
Conte was forced to defend his tactical approach amid widespread criticism after the match, but the Italian is adamant that he will continue to vary his attacking set-up as the situation requires, while also reaffirming his trust Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
"The tactics were the same against Barcelona [in the Champions League]," Conte said. "Defensively, we were very good in both games. If you look at the stats, we conceded only two shots to Manchester City: one they scored, and another after a free kick and [Cesar Azpilicueta] saved it on the line.
"I didn't see a lot of shots on goal from Manchester City, and this is very strange. Usually when you play against Manchester City they shoot about 20 or 25 times every game. For sure, compare that with the Barcelona game, I think we were not so good in ball possession. We missed a lot of last passes.
"For sure, we have to improve. We have to improve in personality, especially when there is a lot of pressure from our opponent. But the tactics were the same against Barcelona and, against Barcelona, I didn't [hear] anyone complaining.
"If I think it's right for the team to play in this way, it's okay. Otherwise I can take another decision and play with a striker. I can take different decisions. There are three players for two places. One has to go on the bench. Then I have to decide who has to go on the bench."