Monday, 24 September, 2018

Antonio Conte happy to have selection headache for Chelsea-Barcelona clash

Antonio Conte GETTY Antonio Conte has cut an unhappy figure at Chelsea this season
Isaac Mcdaniel | 18 February, 2018, 06:17

Asked about Alonso's availability, Conte said: 'Yes. Willian helped himself to a brace while Pedro and Olivier Giroud also got on the scoresheet. He said: "We came with a game plan and within a couple of minutes it's out of the window".

Antonio Conte has confirmed that Marcos Alonso will be ready to return to action when Barcelona visit Chelsea on Tuesday night, 20 February, but the Italian boss added that the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against the La Liga giants is likely to come too early for Tiemoue Bakayoko.

The win means the Blues have recorded back-to-back wins following a poor run of form which saw Conte's side suffer defeats to both Bournemouth and Watford.

It's momentum that is coming just at the right time, with a hellish schedule approaching, including a Champions League double header with Barcelona and away trips to Manchester United and Manchester City.

Pedro doubled the Premier League side's lead midway through the first half, latching onto Cesc Fabregas' superb through ball before slotting underneath Marshall.

They punished Hull's nerves without mercy, claiming all four goals in a ruthless first-half showing.

Steve Sidwell
GETTY Steve Sidwell has slammed Chelsea this season

'As I said before this confidence is very important so we must carry on like that, keep it up, ' the France global said after the 4-0 win.

Ahead of their match against Barcelona in midweek, Antonio Conte chose to rest some of his key players; Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard were all replaced in the starting XI.

Hull were much improved after the break and they were offered a lifeline when Fabregas brought down Harry Wilson inside the area, only for David Myler to see the eventual spot kick kept out by Willy Caballero.

But he ended that wait at Stamford Bridge, stabbing home from close range after good play by fellow new arrival Emerson Palmieri, completing the scoring just before half-time in an easy win that books the Blues' place in the quarter-finals.

Willian struck the post with a late effort that denied him a first hat-trick against Hull, but then immediately targeted further goals against Barcelona.

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