English Premiership

Conte praises Giroud performance in Chelsea debut

2018-02-13 10:01
Olivier Giroud (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte liked what he saw from Olivier Giroud as the French striker made his debut in Monday’s 3-0 win over West Brom.

The former Arsenal forward helped Eden Hazard to open the scoring at Stamford Bridge before Victor Moses and a second strike from Hazard secured a much-needed win for the Blues after back-to-back defeats to Bournemouth and Watford.

"To have two strikers in contention for us is very important," said Conte. "Giroud could become an important player and at the same time I had a good answer from Alvaro [Morata] and we must be happy.

"We forced Giroud to play because we had Morata injured, and it was important to have a point of reference like him on the pitch."

The win puts Chelsea fourth in the Premier League standings, one point behind Liverpool and three adrift of second-placed Manchester United, while also easing the pressure on Conte, who is reportedly on thin ice with the club.

"We have to try to fight against the speculation," the Italian added. "The only way is to try to win, play good football and I think until the end we will continue to live with it. It's not important for me.

"We are getting used to this kind of speculation and rumours. My players know very well what we have to do, now and in the future."

Chelsea next face Championship side Hull City in the FA Cup fifth round before a blockbuster clash against Barcelona in the Champions League on February 20.

Kick-off is at 22:00.


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