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Conte wants to allow Hazard chance to get fully fit

by 12/09/2017 19:50:00 0 comments 1 Views

By Sami Mokbel for the Daily Mail

Published: 19:50 EDT, 12 September 2017 | Updated: 19:50 EDT, 12 September 2017

Davide Zappacosta's stunning first-half strike set Chelsea on their way to an emphatic win against Azerbaijani side Qarabag on their Champions League return.

The Italian, bought from Torino in a £22.5million deal, said: 'It was a dream debut.' Pedro, Cesar Azpilicueta, Tiemoue Bakayoko and a brace from Michy Batshuayi completed the rout.

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists he will not risk Eden Hazard's fitness ahead of Sunday's crunch London derby against Arsenal.

Eden Hazard will not be rushed back to full fitness, admits Chelsea manager Antonio Conte
Eden Hazard will not be rushed back to full fitness, admits Chelsea manager Antonio Conte

Eden Hazard will not be rushed back to full fitness, admits Chelsea manager Antonio Conte

The Belgium international took another significant step towards full fitness after suffering a broken ankle at the end of last season in the win over Qarabag, coming on as a 58th minute substitute to add to the 12 minutes he played against Leicester on Saturday.

Hazard is now in line for his first start of the new season, but Conte insists he will not to expose his star forward to a potential injury set-back.

'I think with Eden, we must have a bit of patience with him, to try to give the possibility for Eden to recover very well and be totally fit,' said Conte.

Hazard, who broke his ankle at the end of last season, replaced Pedro in the 58th minute
Hazard, who broke his ankle at the end of last season, replaced Pedro in the 58th minute

Hazard, who broke his ankle at the end of last season, replaced Pedro in the 58th minute

'This is the right process for him. Don't forget, in the team there are two players like Pedro and Willian, who are playing very well.

'We must be pleased to see Eden in the team. Now we must have calm and do the best for the player and for the team.

'Otherwise we risk bad injury and delaying the situation. That's not good. This process is good for him.'

Blues boss Antonio Conte said: 'I think with Eden, we must have a bit of patience with him...'
Blues boss Antonio Conte said: 'I think with Eden, we must have a bit of patience with him...'

Blues boss Antonio Conte said: 'I think with Eden, we must have a bit of patience with him...'

Conte added that the thrashing of Qarabag was the perfect re-introduction into Champions League football after a year out of Europe's elite.

'I think it was a good start, a perfect start, for us to play our first game in the Champions League and win with a good result.' said the Italian.

'To score many goals. To finish the game with a clean sheet. I saw a lot of positive things tonight.

'Now we have to continue, to rest tomorrow and then to start to think about the next game, a strong game, a tough game against Arsenal.' 

Davide Zappacosta enjoyed a dream debut as he scored in Chelsea's 6-0 demolition
Davide Zappacosta enjoyed a dream debut as he scored in Chelsea's 6-0 demolition

Davide Zappacosta enjoyed a dream debut as he scored in Chelsea's 6-0 demolition

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