Antonio Conte fires thinly-veiled warning to Chelsea star after post-Manchester City strop

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte aimed what looked a thinly-veiled warning to star player Eden Hazard for complaining about his position in the defeat to Manchester City.

The Italian tactician deployed Hazard in a rather unfamiliar role as a false 9 at the Etihad Stadium, and the Belgian had a quiet game as Chelsea lost 1-0 to City.

The Belgium international clearly didn’t seem too happy afterwards, reports the Daily Mirror, as he proclaimed: ‘We could have played for three hours, and I wouldn’t touch a ball.’

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However, Conte is clearly having none of it, and his response to the saga in his press conference was to recall a time in his playing career when he complained about the role he was playing for Juventus.

Then-Juve boss Marcello Lippi ripped into Conte for speaking out, and the club took things a step further and fined him for his outburst before then leaving him on the bench for the next game.

‘I did this when I was a player – once – at ­Juventus, with Marcello Lippi,’ Conte said.

‘We played a massive game against Parma when they were first and we were ­second. We won 3-1. After the game there was an ­international break, and ­during that I was asked by journalists if I was happy with the team and with this ­important win.

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Eden Hazard wasn’t happy after Chelsea’s defeat at Manchester City

‘My stupid answer was, ‘We are winning, but I’m not happy because I’m not ­enjoying the role the coach decided to give me.’

‘When I came back to Turin, there was a meeting with Lippi and all the players, and he killed me. He killed me in a bad way, not in a soft way, in front of the players.

‘He told me it was a lack of respect for my team-mates, first of all, and then for him, the club and the fans.

‘After the training, the club called me. They killed me ­another time — gave me a big, big fine. And then, in the next game, I didn’t play. I was on the bench, against Piacenza.

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Antonio Conte has sent a message to Eden Hazard over his complaints

‘I learned a lot from this experience… not to be selfish. I started to think of the team. I became a ­captain of the team after that.’

While it seems unlikely Conte will go down a similar route with Hazard, he’s made it pretty clear with these comments that he’s not keen to hear dissent from his squad about how they’re being used.

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