DAVID LUIZ still managed to smile - despite Antonio Conte plunging his Chelsea future into doubt.
Andreas Christensen filled in for the player brought back to Stamford Bridge from Paris Saint-Germain on summer transfer window deadline day 2016, and Conte hailed the replacement's performance as wonderful.
"With Luiz you see him in advance of the ball on numerous occasions during every game he plays and consequently, Chelsea suffer defensively". It's only a tactical decision.
"I must take the best decision for the club, not for a single player".
The calls for the young Dane to replace Gary Cahill in the starting XI have missed the point that Conte doesn't see the 21-year-old that sort of player.
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"I have to put my face in every situation and then to sometimes make important decisions".
The Brazil defender was woeful in last week's 3-0 Champions League loss to Roma but Blues manager Conte insists he was replaced by Andreas Christensen for purely tactical reasons, amid rumours of a row.
"We must be pleased", Conte added.
"I decided this way tonight, maybe I can decide a different way in the future or I can continue the same way".
"I'd be happy to eat humble pie if I'm wrong - and there's part of me that will be pleased if I am because I've a lot of respect for the guy".
According to The Times, Luiz feels that his friendship with Costa, who infamously fell out with Conte before being sold this summer, is the cause of the rift. "I have to make the best decision for the team and I try to do this".
Chelsea, beaten 3-0 by Roma in their midweek Champions League fixture, produced an impressive performance against United yesterday. "Sometimes, I can make mistakes or sometimes I can do the best thing".