Chelsea fans were shocked when Antonio Conte named his starting XI for yesterday’s Premier League clash with Southampton as Alvaro Morata was left on the bench once more.
The Spanish striker has impressed since his club record transfer from Real Madrid over the summer and is the Blues’ top scorer this season.
But instead of calling on the 25-year-old to lead the line, Conte has opted to play without a recognised striker in each of Chelsea’s last two games.
Eden Hazard has been deployed as a false nine for the wins over Huddersfield and Southampton this week and although the fans are not happy with their coach’s recent team selections, Morata does not seem to mind too much.
The Spaniard was brought on for the final 17 minutes of yesterday’s 1-0 win over the Saints and although he could not find the net to make things more comfortable, he still paid tribute to the man who got the winner.
“Three more point thanks to Marcos Alonso’s goal!!” He wrote on Instagram after the game, as he celebrated his fellow countryman’s contribution.
It was Alonso’s first-half free kick that proved to be the difference between the teams as Chelsea moved back level on points with Manchester United ahead of their game with West Brom this afternoon.
Conte said he was happy with the performance of his players after the final whistle, telling reporters at his post-match press conference: “A good win, a good job from all my players.
“Yesterday I said we have to pay great attention against Southampton. They are a good team with young, fast players. I’m happy because my players played the game with great concentration. We deserved to win.
“When the score is only 1-0, despite creating many chances to score the second goal, for sure you don’t relax. But I saw the right attention and commitment from my players so I am happy.
“We finished with a clean sheet which is important for our goalkeeper and the whole team.
“This season we have created many chances but we must be more accurate with our finishing. When you score more than one goal, you can be more relaxed, me as well!”