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Conte: Strength of character

The fact today’s victory came against a side as good as Manchester City gave Antonio Conte extra satisfaction as the Blues made it eight wins in a row.

The boss saw his team come from behind at the break to eventually run out 3-1 winners at the Etihad, the goals scored by Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard.

It keeps us at the top of the Premier League and extends our winning sequence into a third month…

‘It’s a big win and a big result against a really strong team,’ Conte told Chelsea TV afterwards.

‘With the quality of players in their squad I think it’s the most complete in this league. For this reason, I am pleased with the result, and with the players. They showed me great character.

‘We were lucky at the start of the second half because there was one crossbar, and also a good save from Thibaut kept the result at 1-0,’ Conte added.

‘Then we found great strength to score the goal to draw, and then to score the second goal and the third goal.

‘It’s fantastic this because I repeat, it’s not easy to come here and win this game. Now we have to continue.'

Conte isn’t ready to call us title contenders yet

‘We have to wait for the first part of the season because we know this league is not easy. Now we are playing very well. We are playing good football, we have good confidence, but it’s important to continue to work and improve. There is room to improve.’

Cesc Fabregas started his first game since September

‘I’m pleased for Cesc above all because this game wasn’t easy for him. The last game he played for Chelsea in the line-up was against Arsenal, and then he had an injury. He recovered and I’m very happy for his performance.

‘He must continue to improve. For me to have more options is good. It’s important to have the whole squad available.’

In the closing moments Manchester City had two players dismissed after a bad Sergio Aguero challenge

‘The final [stage] wasn’t good. I hope only Luiz is not injured after this tackle. It’s very difficult to explain this final part of the game. I support the referee. It is important that the referee whistles and we ‘finish’.  

‘I’m happy because I always tell my players to be focused on the game on the pitch, and always to keep calm. It’s normal when you play these big games it’s not easy to keep calm in every single moment, but I’m pleased because all my players tried to keep calm.’