Antonio Conte reacts to Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Newcastle

The Chelsea manager reflects on the defending champions' comfortable 3-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: Screen grab

Antonio Conte was pleased with Chelsea’s response to falling behind following a comfortable 3-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.

The defending Premier League champions kicked off the 15th round of fixtures in the 2017-18 Premier League season with a home clash against Newcastle.

The Magpies took a surprise lead in the 12th minute when Dwight Gayle scored against the run of play to give the visitors an early lead having netted at Old Trafford a fortnight ago.

However, Chelsea number 10 Eden Hazard required less than 10 minutes to restore parity when he seized upon a loose ball and fired past Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Summer signing Alvaro Morata handed the west London side a first-half lead when the former Real Madrid striker outmuscled the Newcastle defence to score his 10th Premier League goal of the season.

Hazard took his tally to five goals in the 77th minute with an audacious chipped penalty following a foul on Nigeria international Victor Moses.

Speaking to BBC Sport following Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Newcastle, Italian coach Conte declared himself pleased with his Blues players.

“I think our start wasn’t good enough. After going 1-0 down, we started to play with good intensity and good football. Our start was a bit slow.

“We did well after only two days’ rest. It was a solid performance despite the goal. We showed good motivation and good intensity. I made rotations in the game and the response of my players was positive.

“I think that today, to play and win after two days of rest means a lot. Newcastle had the advantage with one day more of rest.”

Chelsea moved to within eight points of leaders Manchester City thanks to their comfortable win over Newcastle.

The Blues are looking to win the title for the third time in four seasons.

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