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Chelsea deserve to be top, says Conte

28 February 2017

I think that now he's deserving to play, and to score the goal is fantastic for him and, above all, for the team.

And Conte said he tried to maintain good communication at Stamford Bridge, adding: "I like to have lots of conversation with players - for me this is the first season, I'm knowing these players and they are learning to know me also".

Another example is Willian.

But Chelsea were pegged back by Fernando Llorente's excellent header on the stroke of half-time at Stamford Bridge, with Fabianski then looking very hard to beat for a second time.

Conte must have been furious with his wards during the interval, for a much-improved Chelsea side took to the pitch in the second period.

To see such defensive chaos caused by one relatively straight ball into the box is particularly surprising given how tight Chelsea are in open play.

"The three points are important as it puts us in amongst the pack, out of the bottom three and a bit closer to Bournemouth", Palace manager Sam Allardyce said.

As football analyst Ben McAleer pointed out, that means Fabregas has been directly involved in more league goals this season (10) than Ozil (9) despite playing 1,227 minutes - or 13 and a half matches - fewer.

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Swansea's only defeats in six league games under former Chelsea assistant boss Paul Clement have come to Arsenal, City and now the Blues.

It meant Chelsea conceded for a fourth straight league game for the first time this season.

Antonio Conte has revealed that his decision to start Cesc Fabregas in the place of Nemanja Matic on Saturday against Swansea was purely tactical.

Antonio Conte's rejuvenated squad head into this weekend's fixtures looking to extend an eight-point gap at the top of the table when they host relegation-battlers Swansea.

Chelsea's Pedro turns in celebrates after scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London.

Chelsea was the dominant side for most of the game and Cesc Fabregas, playing his 300th EPL game gave the home team the lead before Fernando Llorente's equaliser right on half-time gave the visitors a lifeline.

"We have to do our best to get maximum points out of it".

"We are disappointed with the result because for long spells of the game we were in it". He has started only 11 of those games, but manages to show his importance and send constant reminders to his manager about his ability and importance to the squad.