Date: 30th December 2017 at 5:38pm
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In all honesty, if it hadn`t been for some woeful finishing and some excellent saves from Jack Butland, in the Stoke goal, Chelsea could have hit double figures in this game.

But what did the two manager, Antonio Conte and Mark Hughes have to say after the game?

Conte had this to say:

‘Today we were very good, we started very well and to score twice after 15 minutes, another clean sheet, there are a lot of positives after this game. But at the same time we know we must continue to work and improve, and prepare for a very difficult game against Arsenal. Every win is important for us, today it was important to get three points to continue our positive run.

‘Today, we finished a great year for us – for the club, for the fans, for the players, for me. For a first experience in the league, to win the title is not easy, so I have to thank the club for giving me this opportunity.’

And on resting some players ahead of the Arsenal game and after an already busy festive fixture programme, Conte further added:

‘We need to have all my players in the best form, and we know very well in January will be a difficult time because of the games, and in February the Champions League starts again, so I need all my players at the top of their game.’

Whereas Mark Hughes, who could be living on borrowed time at Stoke as his side plunge towards the relegation zone, had this to say:

‘It was a difficult day for us, clearly we were short of numbers in defensive areas, and we made a couple of mistakes too. We need to get a few players back to give us that defensive solidity, we had two young lads in today, who tried their best in difficult circumstances.

‘We had a few decent periods in the second half, when we managed to hold onto the ball, and I thought Sadio Berahino looked sharp. We’ve got to go again on Monday – so that’s why we had to rest a few players – so I take responsibility for that. If we win on Monday, it’s a decent Christmas period for us. The schedule tests you and it will test us more than the bigger clubs, because they’ve got that squad depth.

‘The reality was it was always going to be difficult to get a result here – even with a full-strength squad – sometimes you have to be pragmatic.’

Some would call it throwing the towel in Mark!

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