Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has admitted that the ongoing injury concerns played a part in the Blues’ 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The reigning champions were deemed favorites to secure three points against bottom-side Palace on Saturday, but they failed to show up in the absence of key first-team players.
Both Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante were sidelined with hamstring injuries prior to the game, whilst Victor Moses suffered an injury of his own late in the first-half. In a reported quoted by Sky Sports, Conte admitted that the club had a tough afternoon with injuries, although they will have to find a solution in the coming matches.
He said: “To play this game without three important players, it is not simple. Today wasn’t simple. I think we started very badly and it was very difficult. Also, we need to understand the situation and to continue to work to find the right solution despite the injuries. They are big losses for us but we have to accept the situation and try to do our best. We have to prepare for the next game against Roma in the Champions League. We have to check all the players and then to try to do our best. We have to go game by game. This season will be very difficult in all aspects.”
The defeat was the Blues’ third of the 2017/18 Premier League season, and this sees them nine points adrift of Manchester City after just eight matches. The Blues managed to overturn a similar deficit during the early part of the previous campaign, but the absence of Kante, in particular, could hinder their chances of offering a strong challenge for the English crown.
In the positive note, leading scorer Morata could return for the Champions League clash against AS Roma in midweek after having recuperated from his muscle problem during the international break.