Antonio Conte on Eden Hazard: It’s important Chelsea can play without striker

The Chelsea manager discusses Eden Hazard's performance after the leaders started without a centre-forward

Antonio Conte was happy with the performance of Eden Hazard as a false number nine after Chelsea were 3-0 winners against Leicester City on Saturday evening.

The west London side were without Diego Costa due to injury for their trip to the King Power Stadium which prompted Conte to start with a recognised striker despite the presence of Michy Batshuayi on the bench.

Marcos Alonso broke the deadlock in the first half before the Spanish wing-back extended the visitors’s lead with another impressive strike after half-time.

Former Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez sealed a 3-0 win after the Spain international combined with Willian to unlock the Leicester defence.

Hazard failed to get on the score sheet but the Belgium international did provide the assist for Alonso’s opening goal against the defending champions.

While the 2015 PFA player of the year failed to register a shot on target, Hazard touched the ball 63 times throughout the 3-0 win to highlight his important role in Conte’s side.

Speaking at his post-match media conference after Chelsea’s 3-0 win, Conte was asked about Hazard leading the line with help from Pedro and Willian.

Conte said: “It’s important to have another plan in your mind. To play without a number nine is another solution. We showed against Bournemouth and today, we played without a number nine and won 3-0, 3-0.

MORE: The latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: The latest Chelsea player tweets

‘It’s important to always play as a team and to have different solutions is important for me and the team. Sometimes to change your plan is important.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Joleon Lescott urges Man United to sign Marquinhos from PSG
Hakim Ziyech
Hakim Ziyech issues Chelsea FC warning ahead of Man City final
Owen Hargreaves
'Just so good': Owen Hargreaves praises Man United star Mason Greenwood
Robbie Fowler in London (Photo: Tag Heuer / Daniel Lewis)
Robbie Fowler urges Liverpool FC to sign Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins
Alan Shearer (Photo: BBC Sport / Screengrab)
Alan Shearer raves about 'incredible' Man United star Edinson Cavani
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Joleon Lescott urges Man United to sign Marquinhos from PSG
Hakim Ziyech
Hakim Ziyech issues Chelsea FC warning ahead of Man City final
Owen Hargreaves
'Just so good': Owen Hargreaves praises Man United star Mason Greenwood
Robbie Fowler in London (Photo: Tag Heuer / Daniel Lewis)
Robbie Fowler urges Liverpool FC to sign Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins
Alan Shearer (Photo: BBC Sport / Screengrab)
Alan Shearer raves about 'incredible' Man United star Edinson Cavani
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature