Antonio Conte: 'Chelsea win over Stoke City caps off a great year'

Chelsea Boss Antonio Conte Hints at Reintegration for Outcast David Luiz as He Names Return Date

Hughes left key players Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Allen out of the defeat at Stamford Bridge, admitting that he had one eye on Stoke's match at home to Newcastle on Monday.

Conte got goals from Davide Zappacosta and Antonio Rudiger to go with markers from Willian, Pedro, and Danny Drinkwater.

Tom Edwards and Josh Tymon - both just 18 - were handed rare starts in defence and both endured a hard afternoon against the reigning champions.

Yet the absences of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Andreas Christensen in the interest of squad rotation went nearly unnoticed against a hapless Stoke.

The Blues got off the mark as fast as possible in Saturday's game as they were already in front barely three minutes into the game.

"I don't think in England you can find a game that you can take in a relaxed way".

"It was the same for us". It's normal when you have to play every two days it's normal to make rotations.

Defender Bruce was on commentary duty for BBC Sport on Saturday and he was very impressed by what he saw from Drinkwater as the midfielder made just his third Premier League start of the season.

Even those Chelsea players on the field were hardly tested by Stoke and Conte will hope they enjoy the benefits when they travel to Arsenal on Wednesday.

"In this league to finish in the top four would always be successful".

"We have to know that we face five tough months because we have to fight for a place in the Champions League and it won't be easy to reach this target".

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