Chelsea vs Barcelona: Conte reveals why he benched Morata, Giroud

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, has explained why he benched the club strikers, Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash.

Conte said his side executed his game plan despite the Blues 1-1 draw against the Catalan club at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

The Premier League Champions took the lead through Willian, who was playing behind Eden Hazard. A late mistake from Andreas Christensen gifted Barcelona an equaliser though Lionel Messi.

The Italian gaffer said Chelsea’s performance against the La Liga leaders justified his decision to play without a recognized striker, despite giving away a potentially decisive away goal.

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Asked whether he felt vindicated in not starting a striker, Conte told BT Sport: “I think that when you have to play this game you must have a plan.

“You must respect the characteristics of the opponent to choose which is the best way to face this team.

“I think our plan was really very good. The effort of the players was great. It’s a pity because we are talking about 1-1 but maybe we deserved more tonight.

“I think that we were very close to the perfect game. I think only one mistake.”

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