Sport

'Amazing' Hazard can handle himself in the Premier League, says Conte

'Amazing' Hazard can handle himself in the Premier League, says Conteā€

Chelsea's win lifts them 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League with rivals Tottenham and Manchester City yet to play, and Conte - who celebrated deliriously with the travelling supporters at the final whistle - admitted that it meant more than most.

Chelsea finally found a break through in the 87th minute as David Luiz's header from a corner was blocked, only for Cahill to smash home the loose ball.

"I think the great news is that Diego is showing [himself] to be a great player, also in this aspect".

The 36-year-old has played five times in the league, which is enough for him to get a medal after the threshold for number of games to receive one was halved from 10 in 2012.

Though one could wonder if Lee Grant could have done better with the effort from the Brazilian.

Since being dropped by Conte after a training ground row over a back injury and a lucrative offer from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, Diego Costa has scored four goals in nine Chelsea matches.

He feels the methods of manager Antonio Conte and the extra time to prepare for games due to the absence of European football have been huge factors in Chelsea's rapid improvement.

This was only the second Premier League game of the season where hazard didn't start for Chelsea. And even on days when the "fantasy" of Hazard deserts them, Chelsea's dream season goes on unhindered. Despite not scoring he was left with the last laugh, like on most occasions this season.

Stoke thought they had drawn level after 34 minutes when Geoff Cameron headed on Arnautovic's corner and Martins Indi moved in to head past Courtois from six yards.

Now we're about to see what happens when Chelsea play without Hazard, with the Belgian reportedly set to miss the game against Stoke with injury.

Conte added: "For sure [it was] an important win against a strong team - it's not easy at this point of the season to come here to play in Stoke against a strong team also with a good quality and a good tactical organisation".

No team has ever failed to win the Premier League having been 13 points clear.



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