Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has hailed the partnership of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata following the Blues’ 1-1 draw versus Liverpool on Saturday afternoon. The pair were in a constant presence in the Reds half during the course of the game, and Conte was ultimately disappointed to have come out with only a draw.
Spain international Alvaro Morata started the season as the main man in the Blues attack, but Hazard has left his mark on the playing field ever since his return from an ankle injury. The former Lille man has been contributing constantly towards the club’s progress in recent weeks, and the Anfield game was no different as he popped up with a defining assist for Willian’s freak goal in the 85th minute.
Following the Reds’ stalemate, Conte was pleased with the impact of either player and insists that he now has the option of utilising two different formations with the duo, he said: “Eden is now in really good form. He likes to play as a striker and there is a good link with Alvaro. For me it’s an opportunity to play with two different systems. Against Qarabag we played with a 3-4-2-1, today with a 3-5-2, but we must not lose our identity in both cases.
“We played in a really good way because today we had a tactical plan. For Liverpool it was very difficult to make chances to score. We prepared very well and it was a tactical decision, especially in the first half, to be very solid, and then be dangerous with the ball.”
Willian equalised just five minutes from time to hand Chelsea a valuable point, but Conte was not entirely pleased with the result as he felt the Blues deserved the win at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp decided to bench both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino due to minor knocks sustained during the 3-3 Champions League draw versus Sevilla, and it ultimately came to haunt them with Mane only coming on after the late leveller.