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Antonio Conte blames fatigue for Chelsea's draw with 10-man Leicester

Antonio Conte blames fatigue for Chelsea's draw with 10-man Leicester
From ESPN - January 13, 2018

LONDON -- Antonio Conte believes Chelsea's lacklustre performance at home to 10-man Leicester City was down to tiredness.

Chelsea recorded a third consecutive 0-0 draw against Leicester, who dominated the first half at a stunned Stamford Bridge, registering 12 shots on Thibaut Courtois' goal -- the most of any visiting team in a Premier League match since the 2003-04 season.

But the Foxes directed just one shot on target, failing to make their superiority count.

Conte substituted Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas for Pedro Rodriguez and Willian in the 58th minute and Chelsea took charge after Ben Chilwell was shown a second yellow card for catching Victor Moses on the ankle, but Leicester held on in relative comfort to earn a draw.

A smattering of boos greeted both the half-time and full-time whistles at an exasperated Stamford Bridge, but speaking after the match Conte claimed that his players were still feeling the effects of their exertion against Arsenal in Wednesday's first leg of the Carabao Cup semifinal.

"I think honestly, not to find excuses or alibis, today we paid a lot for the effort from Arsenal," Conte said. "To play Wednesday night and then today against a really good team, a team in really good physical form like Leicester, after only two and a half days [is difficult].

"We played with almost the same players as against Arsenal. My plan was to play with one team in the FA Cup, and then these two games with almost the same players. But I think, today, I saw a lot of players very tired. We suffered a lot in the first half and at the start of the second half.

"Then when I decided to put fresh energy on, the game changed. We tried to create chances, to score, and we are not suffering defensively. We tried to win the game. But at the end I think the result was fair."

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