Chelsea ‘sent a good message’ – Conte

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said his side sent a message to their title rivals by winning without Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante.

Both players were suspended for the 3-0 victory against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, where Pedro got two of the goals and Eden Hazard netted from the penalty spot.

It was the Premier League leaders’ 12th consecutive league win and underlined the strength of Conte’s squad.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, a delighted Conte said: “I think we sent a good message in general because we think a lot of people wanted to see us without two really important players in Costa and Kante to see if we lost points.

“But it didn’t happen and I am pleased about this. I can count on all my players in the squad.”

Conte was full of praise for his team for the way they overcame a Bournemouth side that defended well before Pedro’s fabulous long-range strike opened the scoring in the first half.

“I think we played against a good opponent that tried to stop us,” Conte said.

“We must be prepared for that and I’m pleased with the performance.

“It is not easy to win 12 games in a row. This league is tough and today this game was also tough.

“I am pleased for the players because they deserved this. They have shown me great focus, great concentration and a great attitude.”

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