Antonio Conte Defends Mark Hughes Decision To Rest Key Players

Alvaro Morata scored against Stoke last time out

Alvaro Morata scored against Stoke last time out

While his side are lagging well behind leaders Manchester City in this season's title race, the Italian is still delighted with the way the last 12 months played out in west London.

Speaking to Chelsea's website, Drinkwater said: "We managed the game quite well, we made a fast start and put them on the back foot straight away and I think that was why we won so comfortably in the end". But to finish this year in this way is great for me, the club and the fans. "We have a lot of great games to face".

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has again confirmed plans are well underway for the January market.

In addition, Conte was able to take off Victor Moses, N'Golo Kante and Alvaro Morata, all by the 71st minute, to rest their legs ahead of the visit to Arsenal on Wednesday.

Their team were already 3-0 down and pre-match fears that Mark Hughes had already effectively written off this game in favour of playing on New Year's Day against Newcastle United felt utterly vindicated.

But afterwards, Hughes insisted he had always been focusing on finishing the hectic current schedule with a home win on Monday - a game he expects to have Joe Allen, Xherdan Shaqiri and Kurt Zouma available for, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Eric Pieters also in contention.

Eighteen-year-olds Tom Edwards and Josh Tymon were both handed a starting place as goals from Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater, Pedro, Willian and Davide Zappacosta handed Chelsea a comfortable victory.

"We were stretched. What we had defensively was what you saw", said Hughes. We rested players carrying knocks who will be fresh and ready to go.

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