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Antonio Conte bemoans Chelsea injury situation after defeat to Crystal Palace

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says it is difficult with three key players injured

Antonio Conte says Chelsea must find a solution to their injury problems after a surprise 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.

The defending champions were expected to beat Palace, who had lost seven straight league matches without scoring a goal prior to Chelsea's arrival.

But Wilfried Zaha's strike condemned Conte's side to back-to-back defeats after their 1-0 loss to Manchester City before the international break, leaving the Chelsea head coach to rue injuries to "important players".

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Watch highlights from Chelsea's defeat at Crystal Palace

Alvaro Morata, N'Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater were absent for the champions at Selhurst Park, while Victor Moses limped off with a suspected hamstring injury midway through the first half.

"To play this game without three important players, it is not simple," Conte said. "Today wasn't simple. I think we started very badly and it was very difficult.

"Also we need to understand the situation and to continue to work to find the right solution despite the injuries. They are big losses for us but we have to accept the situation and try to do our best."

Antonio Conte
Image: Antonio Conte endured a frustrating afternoon at Selhurst Park

On the injury picked up by Moses, Conte added: "This is another bad situation. We have to check tomorrow (Sunday) with the medical staff. But for sure it is another loss, a big loss for us. You know very well the importance of this player to our team."

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Chelsea are now nine points off league leaders Manchester City, but their next three fixtures are all at Stamford Bridge, with the visit of Roma in the Champions League followed by Watford and Everton at home in the Premier League and Carabao Cup respectively.

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"We have to prepare for the next game against Roma in the Champions League," Conte added. "We have to check all the players and then to try to do our best.

"We have to go game by game. This season will be very difficult in all aspects. We must be focused game by game and try to do our best. At the end of the season we will see what happened.

"It is important for us to understand we are trying to build something important for the future. We have changed a lot. The only words I know in these circumstances are 'to work'. Work, work, work. It's a verb."

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