In Dropping David Luiz, Antonio Conte Sends Strong Message to Chelsea Roster

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Luiz's replacement, Denmark worldwide Andreas Christensen, impressed in the centre of defence, with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku struggling to get the better of him.

And with youngster Andreas Christensen having been preferred by Conte in defence, questions over Luiz's Blues future have arisen, although the boss was quick to play down any such suggestions. Very simple. The coach has to make the best decision for the team and tonight the best decision for the team was to play with Christensen and to have, on the bench, Ampadu. "I have to make the best decision for the team and I try to do this".

"It is a tactical decision", the manager told Sky Sports.

"It's normal, this can happen to everyone of my players".

"I don't think they are as flamboyant as that they were a year ago".

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"At the end of the match I went to shake the hand [of] the referee and the linesman and then my players", he added. "Sometimes I can do the best things for my team".

It should be noted that the report makes no mention of David Luiz doing anything other complying with these orders (private reservations aside) - he even skipped his customary chat with ESPN Brasil - and they would also fit the pattern of a lightly injured player, which was reported by at least one source before Sunday's game as well. "I was very happy for this", Conte said in the press conference following the win over United.

When asked about his future, Conte said: "You talk about the future but every day you talk about mine".

Perhaps that is why, as the Mirror put it, "David Luiz was left upset as he was made to watch from the side of the pitch and act as a ball boy".

Conspicuous by his absence from the entire Chelsea lineup was defensive mainstay Luiz though, and Conte warns that the Brazilian's recent efforts have not been up to the required standard to maintain a starting XI spot.

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