Conte explains Giroud's importance

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte feels Olivier Giroud could become an important player for Chelsea, both on the pitch and for striking rival Alvaro Morata.

Giroud did not get on the score-sheet, but he provided an assist on his full debut in the Blues' 3-0 win over West Brom. Giroud missed a good chance for a goal too when he shot straight at Ben Foster from close range. He was removed after an hour for Morata, who has not scored since Boxing Day but looked re-invigorated and perhaps stimulated by the new competition for his place.

"To have two strikers in contention for us is very important," said Conte. "Giroud could become an important player and at the same time I had a good answer from Alvaro and we must be happy. We forced Giroud to play because we had Morata injured, and it was important to have a point of reference like him on the pitch."

The win moved Chelsea back into the top four, and only three points off second-placed Manchester United, easing the pressure on Conte following back-to-back defeats by Bournemouth and Watford.