Antonio Conte: Why I benched Michy Batshuayi for Chelsea v Everton

Antonio Conte insists he thought it was the right decision not to play Michy Batshuayi form the start for Chelsea at Everton

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
antonio conte
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Photo: Screengrab

Antonio Conte has insisted that he thought it was the “best option” for Chelsea not to play Michy Batshuayi from the start in Saturday’s goalless draw with Everton.

The Blues manager opted to start with a front three of Willian, Pedro Rodriguez and Eden Hazard on Merseyside despite Alvaro Morata being suspended for the game.

Chelsea struggled to break down a resilient Everton side at Goodison Park as they were forced to settle for a point.

Instead of playing Batshuayi from the start, Conte only brought the Belgian striker on for the final 19 minutes at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues boss was quizzed on his team selection before the game and he explained his reasons prior to the goalless draw.

Conte told Sky Sports: “I think at this moment it is the best option for us. I have to make the best decision for the team.

“Pedro, Hazard and Willian are in good form and I’m trying to continue in this way, especially because Morata is out.

“Batshuayi played the game against Bournemouth and is coming back from injury.

“[And] I think this is the best solution for us in this moment.”

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Boxing Day with a home clash against Brighton as they look to get back to winning ways.

The west London side are still in third place in the Premier League table as it looks increasingly like the Blues will have to surrender their title to Manchester City.

Chelsea will take on Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League in February across two legs.

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