Antonio Conte felt Chelsea started slowly in their 3-1 win at home to Newcastle but as the game progressed their performance improved
Antonio Conte has challenged Eden Hazard to continue improving after his two-goal cameo inspired Chelsea to victory over Newcastle.
The Belgium international produced a man-of-the-match display as the champions emphatically responded to Dwight Gayle’s opener with three unanswered goals.
Hazard registered a career-high nine attempts on goal, six of which were on target – the most by a Premier League player this season.
“Eden played a good game,” Conte told Sky Sports. “Today we saw a good link between him and Alvaro (Morata).
“In this type of game, when we decided to have a tactical solution, he had more freedom to play as striker and then offensively he was very dangerous.
“He played very well, scored twice, and the goalkeeper made two fantastic saves from him. He must continue in this way to improve himself.”
Chelsea’s victory – their fourth on the spin at Stamford Bridge – extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven games and they are eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
Conte was pleased by the manner in which the champions responded to their early set back.
“It was a good performance,” the Italian added. “Maybe our start was a bit a slow, not good enough.
“But after we went 1-0 down we played with good intensity and created chances to score. In the end it was a good performance.
“This team has a lot of professionals, when our start is not good enough there is always a good reaction, like against Liverpool.
“This team is strong for sure, we are in good form, good physical condition and strong tactically in defence and attack. We are working well and we have to continue in this way.”