Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he needed to play Alvaro Morata against Manchester City after the Spaniard picked up a muscular injury.
Morata looks set to be out of action for the international break after he had to be withdrawn in the first-half of Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City.
"It’s a muscular problem," Conte told the club's official website. "I don’t think it’s serious. He said to me: 'Coach I prefer to stop, otherwise I risk having a bad injury.'
"We don’t want to use (fatigue) as an excuse. To play another massive game two days later you must consider the fatigue in the legs of your players, and it’s impossible to press box to box because after 30 minutes you have no energy.
"It’s normal when you play three massive games in seven days you must consider this aspect but we needed to take the risk because Morata, for us, is a very important player."
Speaking about the match itself, Conte said that "when I see my players have given everything we must be pleased despite the bad result".
"For sure there is disappointment about the result but at the same time I’m pleased with the commitment of my players, we gave everything,’ said the Italian. "You can win or lose, but the most important thing is to see your players giving everything and today that happened," he said.
"We played against a really good team, we created chances to score but we didn’t take them. Man City created chances and did well to score. In this type of game it’s very important to score first but great compliments to City."