Big call from Conte!
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted he dropped David Luiz for today’s game against Manchester United, confirming that the Brazilian defender is not injured.
The 30-year-old was not even in the match-day squad for today’s big game at Stamford Bridge, with Conte going instead for youngster Andreas Christensen in defence.
Luiz was a key part of Chelsea’s title-winning squad last season, but the Blues have not looked as convincing at the back lately, prompting Conte to make a big change for the visit of United.
‘It’s a tactical decision,’ Conte told Sky Sports before the game, as quoted in the Metro.
Asked if he’d fallen out with Luiz, the Italian responded: ‘No, no. Tactical decision. There is Christensen in really good form and also we have (Ethan) Ampadu who is a good young player. The club like to play with the young player.
‘I think we are conceding many goals then you find the way to find the most solidity to be more solid. We must defend in the right way.’
Chelsea axe harsh on Luiz?
This is quite a statement from Conte, who has singled out a big-name player in a bid to fix his side’s form and get a response from the rest of his squad.
Chelsea beat United 4-0 in last season’s Premier League meeting, but go into this game on the back of a hugely disappointing 3-0 defeat to Roma in the Champions League.
Chelsea have just one clean sheet in their last eight matches in all competitions, so it’s clear something needed to change, but it may be harsh on Luiz as players like Antonio Rudiger and Gary Cahill have also not always looked at their best of late.