Antonio Conte claims Tiemoue Bakayoko was hauled off at half-time in Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham for tactical reasons.
The loss at the London Stadium has left the Premier League champions 11 points behind leaders Manchester City, who face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Bakayoko has been criticised for his form this season and faced more abuse from Chelsea fans in the wake of the defeat to David Moyes’ side.
The £40 million summer signing from Monaco played just the first half before he was replaced by Pedro at the break, but Conte insists he was happy with the Frenchman’s display.
‘It was a tactical decision because Bakayoko I think he was playing a good game, but when you find 11 players behind the ball and you are losing 1-0 it is important to change something to find a different solution,’ said the Chelsea manager.
‘In this case Pedro has different characteristics to Bakayoko.
‘He’s better one vs one, more a technical player.
‘To lose a physical player it wasn’t important after the first half. But it was only a tactical decision. But the player satisfied me with his performance.’
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