Antonio Conte defends Mark Hughes over Stoke selection

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Chelsea understandably weren't in much of a hurry to add to their lead, but two late strikes from Willian and Davide Zappacosta put the icing on the cake as Antonio Conte's men strolled into the New Year.

Moses played for 55 minutes as Chelsea put up a dominant display, beating Stoke City 5-0 in their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.

Monday's game against another struggling team in Newcastle was clearly in Hughes' thoughts, but it meant Chelsea was likely to have it easy despite leaving Hazard out of the team.

Teenage full-backs Tom Edwards and Josh Tymon both started while influential midfielders Joe Allen and Xherdan Shaqiri were named as substitutes.

Chelsea's squad is stocked so heavily with talent that the absences of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Andreas Christensen in the interests of squad rotation went nearly unnoticed against hapless Stoke on Saturday.

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Stoke manager Mark Hughes' changes, however, did not work so well, and he admitted that his decision to play what amounted to a reserve side was made with an eye on today's fixture against Newcastle United.

"It was the same for us". When you play a lot of games in a few days it is important to rotate and find different solutions. But I repeat: "for me it's very important to see that my players have the chances to score".

"To finish this year in this way is great for me, great for the players, great for the club and our fans", said Conte after watching his side move up to second in the table on 45 points, 13 behind City ahead of the league leaders' game against Crystal Palace yesterday.

"We have to know that we face five tough months because we have to fight for a place in the Champions League and it won't be easy to reach this target".

"At the same time we know we must continue to work and improve, and prepare for a very hard game against Arsenal".