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Conte explains why he benched Costa and Hazard for Spurs FA Cup semi-final

Date Posted,April 21, 2017

Antonio Conte has explained why he left both Diego Costa and Eden Hazard out of the Chelsea starting XI to face Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

The Italian’s move baffled fans, especially given the magnitude of the game.

Chelsea’s striker hasn’t scored for four games and Hazard was spotted wearing a bandage round his leg in training on Friday.

Conte plumped for Michy Batshuayi to start up front, who hasn’t started a single Premier League game this season. Willian was chosen to start instead of Hazard.

Diego Costa had to settle for a space on the bench (Photo: Steve Bardens – The FA/The FA via Getty Images))

Speaking to BBC One before the game, Conte said: “I took this decision about our starting XI. At this moment it is part of the season whenever we play any game it is important to have a player in your mind and make a decision.

“You risk in the same way if you start with Diego or Eden or they come on. I try to make the best decision.”

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