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Work hard or sit in the stands - Antonio Conte tells David Luiz

Antonio Conte

Given his record of ruthlessly disposing of managers perceived to be underachieving, the sight of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich at the club's training ground this week might have given Antonio Conte cause for concern.

"It is a big call because if you take on these players in that dressing room, where David Luiz is a big influence, a big character, you can lose at this club".

While Conte insisted there had been no fall out with Luiz, there was a distinct sense that he had been placed on the Stamford Bridge naughty step as he sat behind the Chelsea substitutes next to his Brazilian compatriot Kenedy, who was also left out in the cold. "I was very happy for this", Conte said in the press conference following the win over United.

"At the end of the match I went to shake the hand [of] the referee and the linesman and then my players", he added.

Antonio Conte has consistently claimed he is "different" to his Chelsea predecessors as questions have been raised over his future during recent weeks, but, until Sunday, it was hard to pinpoint exactly what he meant.

"I thought the decision to drop Luiz was the right decision". Every day you put my future [in the spotlight]. Kenedy had been on the substitutes' bench for Chelsea's Champions League defeat at Roma, but earned a stern lecture from Conte for yawning his way through the Italian's stormy inquest.

"Yesterday was one of effervescence, they had life, and I thought Chelsea deserved to win".

Andreas Christensen took his place in his three-man defence alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill, with 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu making the bench. "Sometimes, I can make mistakes or sometimes I can do the best thing".

Victory means the Blues maintain the nine-point gap to Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.