Chelsea remained perfect under Antonio Conte on Saturday, coming from behind to win away to Watford, a victory that left the Blues’ first-year Italian boss beaming with pride for how his side responded.
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Giving up after going a goal down became part of the routine last season, and ultimately resulted in Jose Mourinho being fired. Saturday looked centuries apart from the disastrous campaign that saw Chelsea finish 10th, and Conte heaped praise upon his players for responding as such — quotes from the BBC:
“I feel good because I saw the right commitment, the right spirit from my team.
“This game wasn’t easy this game because we were 1-0 down. I’m pleased to see the reaction from my players and this win is very important for us as it gives everyone confidence.
“It is wrong to come to Watford and to think it’s very simple to win. In the first half I saw a good balance between the teams. I think we showed a great intensity in the second half and we pushed them a lot.”
Of course, little has changed with regards to Diego Costa‘s on-field antics. The Brazilian-turned-Spaniard could have — and perhaps should have — been sent off not long before scoring the game-winning goal. There’s little doubt that Costa needs to play that way to succeed, and it’ll be fascinating to see how Conte manages his side’s most volatile figure as the season wears on.
On claims Costa, who avoided a second booking for what appeared to be a dive, should have been sent off: “I don’t accept this because if every game people find something on Diego it is no good for Chelsea.
“It’s better to focus on the game. For me, the first yellow is no good for me. I don’t accept the idea for a second yellow card for a dive but he does have to avoid the first.”