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Eden Hazard credits Antonio Conte with match-winning decision

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Eden Hazard broke Spurs hearts eleven months ago and he did so once again today, this time by scoring what proved to be the winning goal in Chelsea's 4-2 FA Cup semifinal win at Wembley.  Chelsea thus advance to the final for the first time since 2012, and for the first time in Hazard's Chelsea career.

Not many would've predicted this scoreline at the start of the match, especially as Conte decided to not start either Hazard or Diego Costa, preferring instead of hand a surprise start to Michy Batshuayi and playing both Pedro and Willian.  Afterwards, Hazard paid tribute to his manager's bold decision.

"The manager told me yesterday, you have to expect everything in football."

"When you play football you want to play every game, but he made a great choice. He picked Willian and Willian scored two goals, so it's good for us. It's always good to win a semi-final against a London team. It will be my first [FA Cup] final in five years with Chelsea."

-Eden Hazard; source: BBC via Evening Standard

Willian's brace was somewhat overshadowed by Hazard's winning strike as well as Nemanja Matić's magnificent, once in a career lightning bolt, he has quietly put together a very productive season, hitting double-digits in goals for the second straight season, and this time without being a locked-on starter.  That he did it against Spurs just adds to the merriment.

After making a couple questionable decisions last weekend, Conte certainly redeemed himself by not shying away from further bold moves, both at the start of the match in terms of the lineup and with his early and positive changes in the second half to push the team to another famous Wembley victory.

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