Eden Hazard: Antonio Conte had 'to shout a bit' to get Chelsea response
Eden Hazard says Antonio Conte had "to shout a bit" in order to provoke the response that saw Chelsea earn a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Conte made no secret of his frustration with his players after a humiliating 3-0 loss away to Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday, and his desire for change was underlined by the decision to drop a fit David Luiz from his matchday squad for one of the biggest matches of Chelsea's season.
The Premier League champions responded against United with a dominating performance not reflected in the score line, with Alvaro Morata's 55th-minute header settling the match, and speaking afterwards, Hazard revealed that Conte challenged his players to improve at Cobham.
When asked about the atmosphere at training in recent weeks, Hazard told SFR Sport: "Just as it was last year after the two defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool. Everyone was a bit frustrated with results, and it was a bit the same this week. Sometimes you have to shout a bit to get back to getting good results. It bore fruit, so all the better.
"Whether it be the staff or the players we gave more than 100 percent, that's why we won. We could see that when we all play together, we create chances and we put them away. It's easier to win."
Chelsea's superiority against United was cemented in midfield, where N'Golo Kante produced an impressive performance on his return from a six-match absence due to injury and Cesc Fabregas controlled possession, while Tiemoue Bakayoko carried a surprising level of attacking threat.
"Of course it's a win that does us good," Bakayoko told SFR Sport. "I think we approached the game in the right way. We played a very good first half, and we could have led. It's a shame we went back to the dressing rooms drawing. I think we continued in the second half what we had been doing in the first.
"We managed to score but we could have added to it. That's the only regret, but we're happy with the display we produced. I think it could be a benchmark game from this early part of the season.
"We're capable of reproducing this kind of performance. We have to do it over several months and try to pick up as many points as possible."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.