Conte: Tiredness was a factor against Leicester

CHELSEA XI

CHELSEA XI

Their double substitution with less than an hour on the clock highlighted the home side's struggles to find a way through this Leicester defence - even tired, those two had been Chelsea's most likely route towards a goal against the run of play in a first half dominated by the Foxes.

Antonio Conte said Chelsea's midweek draw with Arsenal was the reason for their lacklustre 0-0 draw against Leicester at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League returned after a short break following the festive fixtures, and Saturday's opening game pinned Chelsea against Leicester City.

Chelsea remain in third, but victories for Liverpool and Manchester United could see them drop down to fourth, just three points ahead of Tottenham and Arsenal - should they also win their respective games. When put to lead the line in a 4-3-3 with Hazard, Pedro or Willian on either side he has had space to operate and has been able to find the gaps and create and finish chances.

Conte says we suffered for playing so soon after the tough midweek game against Arsenal, and with numerous same players.

"Obviously we all feel a little bit exhausted, a year ago we went from week to week, but now we have already played a lot of games".

Chelsea are scheduled to play United at Old Trafford on February 25, unless the Blues reach the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on the same day.

So far, Antonio Conte has brought in Ross Barkley for £15m, but the Italian tactician wants to make more reinforcements before the window closes.

It was an open end-to-end encounter but it was Claude Puel's men who were posing the bigger threat and it took a superb reflex save from Thibaut Courtois to keep out Wilfred N'didi's 14th-minute header.

Conte's men were gifted an unexpected lift when Chilwell, booked moments earlier, lunged into a studs-up tackle on Victor Moses in the 68th minute, earning a red card from referee Michael Jones.

I have no doubt Alvaro Morata could be the best striker in the Premier League if played properly.

"We have to try to improve in this aspect, but the problem is not just for Morata, or [Michy] Batshuayi when he plays".

Abdoulaye Doucoure's controversial last-gasp equaliser denied Southampton a first win in 10 matches, with the midfielder diverting the ball in with his arm a minute before fulltime as hosts Watford came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw.

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