Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Olivier Giroud excited to score first Chelsea goal in victory over Hull

Olivier Giroud excited to score first Chelsea goal in victory over Hull

Speaking about the game, Conte said that it will be a massive conundrum while selecting his first XI against Barcelona given that the likes of Willian and Olivier Giroud have found their footing.

Mindful of Tuesday's clash against Barcelona, Conte had rested several stars and, with Eden Hazard, N'Golo Kante, Thibaut Courtois and Andreas Christensen all absent, Ethan Ampadu started in defence while Emerson's long-awaited debut enabled Marcos Alonso to be preserved for the bigger test to come.

And the Brazilian saluted the overall performance of Chelsea, saying they made the game "easy".

"Alonso is ready to play", Conte said. We started with great focus and concentration, will to score and wanted to go to the next round.

"'Which is the best starting XI to start the game against Barcelona?' But it's right to be so".

"I had a couple of chances in previous games, so yeah, it was very important to get the first goal and now I am a little relieved, to be honest".

Conte made a change at halftime, with 17-year-old forward Callum Hudson-Odoi replacing Pedro, but the second half would start as well for Hull as the first did for Chelsea.

Chants of "Barcelona, we're coming for you" rang around and, unlike in the recent defeat vs. Watford at Vicarage Road, the tone was not ironic.

"It's been a while since I played regularly and that's why I needed to move". We have to try to have the ideal game and to try to make the best decisions also for this type of team. We must be confident to prepare for it in the right way. "We let some talented players demonstrate how good they are".

"But we for sure will work together, work with the team, but not just to try to stop him: if we focus on just man-marking Messi, it can be very unsafe". You'd be mistaken for thinking Willian was playing tricks on them all night. Despite his persistence, it just wouldn't go in for Willian, with Jackson Irvine blocking a shot that looked destined for the back of the net before the outside of the post stopped him from taking home the match ball in the dying moments. Nigel Adkins' side are labouring at 21st in the Championship, a point above the cut-off, with Michael Dawson's return from groin trouble offset by Jarrob Bowen's untimely absence with a hamstring injury. The left-back along with Bakayoko had missed the Hull game. This type of game must give us great enthusiasm.

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