Antonio Conte: 'Alvaro Morata must become more aggressive'

Premier League 17/18 Week 6: Stoke City vs Chelsea Lineups, Preview & Prediction

Mario Melchiot heaped praise on Alvaro Morata after the Chelsea signing's electric performance in Saturday's 4-0 win at Stoke City.

Diego Costa secured a long-awaited return to Atletico Madrid on Thursday after scoring 20 goals in Chelsea's two title-winning seasons in 2015 and 2017.

Hazard, meanwhile, made his first Chelsea start of the season in the 5-1 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday after breaking his ankle in June and Conte now considers his recovery to be complete.

His first two goals at Stoke were those of a striker brimming with confidence, two classy finishes having broken behind the defence.

A last-ditch Stoke clearance stopped substitute Eden Hazard's cross-shot from finding Morata, but the 24-year-old was not to be denied his hat-trick.

He may not possess the anger, passion and all-round nuisance value of Costa, but Morata is a silkier striker, oozing class and movement.

His predatory instincts were on display when completed his hat-trick by finishing off a lovely team move in which Azpilicueta set Morata up for the fourth time this season by chesting the ball into his fellow Spaniard's path, thus leaving the No.9 with a tap-in. Costa is likely to be watching his replacement from the stands at the Wanda Metropolitano.

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Chelsea remain three points behind leaders Manchester City, who they play at Stamford Bridge in what could be one of the season's formative games next Saturday. But this was why Chelsea spent a club-record fee on him.

While that strike was nearly entirely a piece of solo skill crafted by Morata, his third was a sum of its parts, beginning with a delightfully clipped ball over the top into Stoke's box by substitute Cesc Fabregas. It will have been particularly galling for Potters boss Mark Hughes given that otherwise, his men performed reasonably well for much of the contest.

The biggest shock in the third round saw Bristol City knock Stoke out of the competition with two quick goals at the start of the second-half. But, for me, the striker is very important and he is a good guy who wants to improve a lot.

Asked for his thoughts on Choupo-Moting's penalty appeal, Hughes said: "Yes, it could well have been a penalty but the order of the day was that we weren't going to get those kind of decisions".

Crouch is ungainly, awkward and not very easy on the eye, but he is effective and Stoke probably need to use him more often.

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