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Chelsea star questions Conte’s tactics

Chelsea forward has questioned Antonio Conte’s decision to play him as a central striker against Manchester City.

The Blues boss decided to leave both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench for the game at the Etihad, leaving the Hazard to play through the middle, but it was a frustrating afternoon, with the Belgian failing to have a single shot.

Hazard was isolated throughout and was replaced by Conte near the end and after the game, he suggested to Belgian newspaper HLN that he was left frustrated by his managers decision to sit back and defend:

When you leave the pitch you have the impression that you’ve ran [a lot], but that you haven’t played a game of football. That’s a pity.

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“We could have played on for three hours, and I [still] wouldn’t touch a ball. It went a bit better only at the end: in the last 10-15 minutes we had more possession. But we should have tried to do that all game.”

Asked if his manager believes Hazard can be a naturally lone striker, he said:

“I don’t know. When the manager plays me up front, I try to give everything. We haven’t played a good game.

“For me personally it’s difficult to play a good game, when you only touch the ball three times.”

Hazard suggested his lack of height made it difficult to compete with the City centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi.

“I tried to jump [for long balls] but against Otamendi and Laporte it is not easy.

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“It was difficult. Against Barcelona we had at least a few chances. In that game we could have scored. Today we didn’t create any.

“It was complicated. Certainly to find an answer to their pressing. Once we had the ball, we were immediately surrounded by three or four players.

“We have also wasted some simple passes. We haven’t played a good game. We are going to work hard to perform better next week.”

Hazard has already aired his displeasure for playing as a central striker following the recent Champions League game against Barcelona.

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