To the surprise of almost everyone, the Stamford Bridge encounter ended 0-0, as Chelsea were unable to put down a 10-man Leicester. But what surprised and infuriated fans more is one decision of Antonio Conte in particular.
In the 58th minute, Conte made a double substitution, bringing on Pedro and Willian for Hazard and Fabregas. In that absurd move, the manager took two of his best players off the field when they needed a goal the most.
The choice has left countless fans infuriated, and Twitter was riddled with a mockery of the Italian tactician. Several called for his sack, and others tried in vain to discern how the move was in any way a positive one with regard to the fixture.
If anything, in retrospect view of Ben Chilwell’s 68th minute second yellow, the presence of Hazard could have been the decisive factor in ensuring that the game went in favor of the Blues. But that was simply not to be.
Claims suggesting that the Belgian was, in fact, carrying an injury and was therefore not given the full ninety minutes also surfaced, but were rubbished in view of his antics during the match.
The draw has now put Conte’s men level with Mourinho’s side, who have have a game in hand, which is awful considering that there was a point in late December when they were favorites for the second spot after dismal showings by the Red Devils.
More concerning for Chelsea is the fact that Liverpool are a mere win away in their spare game to catch up with them. If Conte continues with his questionable tactics, his side might suffer immensely before the season is done.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.