Chelsea's Champions League return was 'perfect', says Antonio Conte

Paola Ditto
Settembre 13, 2017

We are insane to think we could play with only 13 players like last season. My message tonight was this: I trust all my players, not with only words, but with facts.

The Belgium global took another significant step towards full fitness after suffering a broken ankle at the end of last season in the win over Qarabag, coming on as a 58th minute substitute to add to the 12 minutes he played against Leicester on Saturday.

Following last night's convincing win, the 30-year-old said: "We are just focusing on Arsenal now which is a tough, tough game on Sunday. It's very important and I had a positive answer from my players". We started the Champions League in the right way.

Pedro opened the scoring for the home side after just five minutes, with a first-time effort from the edge of the box after a short corner.

Cesar Azpilicueta headed Chelsea further in front 10 minutes into the second half after being left unmarked to meet Cesc Fabregas' cross.

The Azeris, who have won their domestic championship for the last four years, were given little room and time to produce their best football.

"Baka is improving his physical condition a lot", Conte said of off-season midfield recruit from Monaco.

The Chelsea faithful sang "Zappacosta - he scores when he wants" as the right wing-back moved halfway towards Costa's Champions League tally for Chelsea. The Azerbaijani side defeated FC Copenhagen in the play-off round to book a place in the group stages.

"A lot of positive things from us". The club originated in the city of Agdam, a city which has been abandoned since the Nagorno-Karabakh War of the early 1990s.

"Unfortunately our land is occupied by armed forces", Gurbanov said through a translator at Stamford Bridge as a post-match news conference took an unexpected diversion into geopolitics.

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