Conte challenges Eden Hazard to match Ronaldo, Messi


Antonio Conte has challenged Eden Hazard to repeat his dazzling performance against Atletico Madrid when Chelsea face title rivals Manchester City on Saturday.

Kevin De Bruyne's emphatic strike in the 67th minute settled the match in favour of Pep Guardiola's men, who made a Premier League title statement by pinning Chelsea back from the outset and increasing their dominance when the impressive Morata was forced off after just 35 minutes.

Conte was publicly critical of the decision to schedule Chelsea's match against City on Saturday rather than Sunday, ensuring that he could only prepare his team for one day at Cobham after Wednesday's comeback victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

"He is a top player, now he is totally fit and I think it is the right moment".

Chelsea even tried to sign Fernando Llorente for £15 million in the summer before he chose to move to Tottenham Hotspur instead - which gives us further reason to be doubful about Batshuayi.

"For us he's an important player". We didn't take it. City created a chance and were very good to take the chances to score.

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Manchester City tested Chelsea's defence with rapid, fluid counter-attacking play throughout the early stages and for much of the game.

Morata started all three games but he ultimately pulled his hamstring, perhaps due to being played too often. "I don't think it's a serious problem because he stopped before it will become a serious injury". I like players who are used to thinking about the team and are used to thinking about "us", not "me".

Hazard is due to jet off with Belgium for their World Cup qualifying fixtures against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Gibraltar.

It is obviously a battle for third place as I don't see them getting anything from the other games and if they can find a structure to suit then I think they can get a draw. "It's a simple tactical decision".

"I love this Chelsea team", said the Argentine. "It's my job to push him to be decisive". Everything. We did this today.

"He is also good in aerial play and very good with the ball at his feet". Chelsea drop to fourth following this result and Tottenham's win and are now six points off the pace of the Manchester clubs at the top on 19 points.