Chelsea manager Antonio Conte's decision to withdraw two-goal saviour Eden Hazard for the final stages of a pulsating 3-3 Champions League draw with AS Roma at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night (18 October) confused many supporters and the player himself admits that he is unsure why such a call was made.

Hazard was instrumental in ensuring that the injury-plagued Premier League champions did not completely blow a 2-0 first-half lead against their impressive Serie A opponents in west London, heading home Pedro's cross with 15 minutes remaining to seal a share of the spoils and clinch his brace after ex-Manchester City duo Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko had completely turned the game on its head.

However, the Belgium captain did not finish the match and was replaced by Willian with 80 minutes on the clock.

That has been a familiar theme of late, with Hazard having completed the full 90 minutes just twice - against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace - in nine appearances so far this term.

It is worth noting, however, that the 26-year-old missed the first four games of the campaign and was sidelined for three months after undergoing surgery on a fractured ankle suffered while on international duty in June.

He made his first start of 2017-18 in mid-September as Conte understandably exercised caution with regards to arguably his most influential player and has featured from the first whistle in all but one of Chelsea's five matches since.

So was his late substitution against Roma simply a precaution with Saturday's visit of Watford in mind?

"I don't know," Hazard told Sky Sports in the post-match mixed zone, per football.london. "I don't know. I think sometimes the manager wants to put me on the bench at the end of the game. I pushed to the maximum, I've just come back from the injury, so he made his choice and sometimes the guy who goes on the pitch scores a goal. So I have nothing to say about this."

Chelsea are already without N'Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses for the visit of Eusebio Di Francesco's Giallorossi, while David Luiz was taken off with a calf issue, Tiemoue Bakayoko played through a groin problem and Gary Cahill sported a somewhat bizarre bandage after sustaining a head knock.

Conte has already warned that his thin squad is being stretched during a busy run of fixtures and was in no mood to entertain Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho's jibe about rival managers crying over absent players.

"Do you think that it was for me? I think that he has to think about his team," he fired back in a press conference. "Stop, look at himself, not the others.

"I think a lot of the time Mourinho has to see what happens at Chelsea. Also last season. If it is for me, my answer is this. If this not for me my answer is not for him."

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard rescued a draw for Chelsea against Roma at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images