Conte stands by decision to ‘protect’ injured Luiz

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Antonio Conte said he took David Luiz off against Roma because the Brazilian picked up a calf injury.

Luiz, who scored the opening goal in the 3-3 Champions League draw at Stamford Bridge, seemed angry at boss Conte’s decision to substitute him in the second half.

However, speaking at his post-match press conference, Conte explained that Luiz and Tiémoué Bakayoko – who managed to complete the 90 minutes – were both struggling.

Conte said: “It was good to protect him. After the first half the doctor said David had a pain in his calf and the same for Bakayoko with his groin.”

Conte opted to play Luiz in midfield and admitted afterwards that his tactical change had not paid off.

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After goals from Luiz and Eden Hazard put the Blues 2-0 up, Roma hit back to take the lead before Hazard netted again to salvage a point, keeping his team top of Group C.

“I like to be honest and for sure I didn’t like the type of football we played for a lot of the game,” Conte said.

“I tried to protect my team and move my defenders into midfield but we lost our style of football. I didn’t like this.

“It is right to take the responsibility for this. You have to take the decision, sometimes good and sometimes bad. I am going home tonight not happy.

“We were 2-0 up but not in control of the game. I think the result was fair. We know Roma are a strong team but we gave away too much possession.

“I have to praise my players. They showed me a big effort and commitment, otherwise we would have lost this game.”

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