Antonio Conte defended Alvaro Morata following his poor performance against Leicester and believes Chelsea’s defenders must ease the pressure on the striker with goals at set-pieces.
Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Leicester and Morata once again failed to find the net after a difficult Christmas period for the 25-year-old Spain attacker.
The goalless draw was Chelsea’s third on the bounce in all competitions and Morata is coming under increasing pressure to find his feet following a high-profile summer transfer from Real Madrid.
Asked about Morata’s poor display at Stamford Bridge, Conte said: ‘I think the problem is the team, not only Morata.
‘We are conceding less but not great quality in our finishing but not only Morata, from corners defenders have the chance to score but not take. We have to improve this aspect.’
The Italian believes Chelsea’s Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal on Wednesday night contributed to the side’s sluggish performance against Leicester.
He said: ‘I think that honestly that to find an excuse or alibi we paid a lot for the Arsenal game.
‘To play Wednesday night and then against a really good team after only two days and a half. It was almost the same team against Arsenal.
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‘That was my plan. I saw a lot of players very tired. We suffered a lot in the first half in the start of the second half. The fresh energy changed the game and we created chances to score.
‘We tried to win the game. At the end the result was fair.’