It was the manner of his players’ performance as much as the result that pleased Antonio Conte after we won for the third straight league game.
The boss watched as his Blues responded impressively to the midweek disappointment in Rome. After that match, Conte called for greater desire from his players, and that was exactly what he got at Stamford Bridge today as we beat Manchester United.
Conte spoke afterwards about the goalscorer Alvaro Morata, the outstanding Eden Hazard, and also David Luiz, who was not in the squad. First, though, he gave his assessment of another important three points…
‘We played with great energy, with great passion and with great enthusiasm,’ Conte said.
‘It’s great for me, the players, the club, but above all it’s great for our fans, to breathe this energy, to breathe this passion, to breathe this enthusiasm.
‘I saw a lot of positive things, not only in the tactical aspect but above all my players’ desire, their will to fight and help each other.
‘When we play in this way it’s great. This was a massive game, and to win against Manchester United gives you more confidence, and gives you the right enthusiasm to understand that if we want, we can.’
With N’Golo Kante fit again Conte opted to change the formation from our recent games
‘To have the possibility to play with three midfielders was very important. This season we are struggling a bit to find the best solution for this team. Last season we found great balance with the system, 3-4-2-1, but this season we changed many players and we have to find the best solution game by game.
‘We showed good balance tonight, we created many chances to score, we could have been more clinical, but it’s okay. A good win for us.’
Conte explained why David Luiz was not selected in his squad
‘It’s very simple. The coach has to make the best decision for the team. Tonight the best decision for the team was to play with Christensen and to have Ampadu on the bench, young players, really good players for the present and the future.
‘Maybe in the future I can decide in a different way, or continue in this way. I must take the best decision for the club, not for a single player. Sometimes I can make mistakes or sometimes I can do the best thing.
‘It was only a tactical decision. This can happen to any one of my players. If I see they are not in good form, it’s normal. I have to put my face in every situation, and sometimes make important decisions. Today I did this, and Christensen played an amazing game. I was very happy for this.’
Morata’s super header was his first goal since the win at Atletico Madrid in September
‘Don’t forget this is the first season he is playing regularly. In previous seasons he never played regularly. Now he has to try to work, to improve. Before his injury he was playing in a fantastic way. After his injury his form dropped, but now he is improving.
‘He played a really good game against three physical, strong central defenders. He showed he is strong physically and he has good technique. If I have to find a negative aspect, he could have scored more goals and killed the game.
‘Also this season we changed many players, and our age is lower than last season, with Christensen, Morata, Rudiger and Bakayoko. We must have patience with these type of players, and then try to improve them and to build something important together.’
Hazard starred throughout and was regularly brought down as the visitors struggled to contain him
‘I was a player and I know when you have an opponent who is a top player, you try to stop him. United tried not the best way, but the normal way to stop an important player like Hazard.
‘Hazard played an amazing game. He was always involved with and without the ball, he created a good link with Morata, and with the rest of the team. We were always within 35 or 40 metres of each other, and the team was not stretched between the two strikers and the rest of the players.’
- You can watch Conte speaking to Chelsea TV after the game in the video below.