Chelsea on Wednesday eked out a 2-1 win over manager-less Everton to progress to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup and Blues manager Antonio Conte was happy with the way his side played against a dangerous opponent.
“The performance was very good in the first half when we created chances to score, and then in the second half we suffered a bit,” Conte said at the post-match press conference.
Chelsea, who snapped a two-game losing streak in the Premier League by beating Watford 4-2 on the weekend, were under pressure to avoid an upset against a side that has always given them trouble in the past.
“But that is normal when you play against Everton. They are a good team and they have changed their coach and usually when this happens, the players want to try to give more. For this reason this game was very dangerous for us and I am very happy because tonight I saw a lot of positive things,” the Italian stated.
Antonio Rudiger headed the hosts into the lead in the 21st minute before Willian added a second in the 90th minute to extend their advantage before Dominc Calvert-Lewin pulled one back for the visitors to ensure a nervy finish to the game.
Chelsea field the trio of Charly Musonda, Kenedy and Ethan Ampadu for the cup tie at the Bridge and their manager was happy with the youngsters’ performances against Everton.
“Tonight Charly Musonda, Kenedy and Ethan Ampadu played a good game and don’t forget Ampadu is only 17 years old. It is very important to trust in these players because they deserve to have this chance and I am very happy because I had the answer I was waiting for,” Conte enthused.
The Blues dominated the first-half, but the second arguably belong to Everton and the Toffees had plenty of chances to equalise, only for reserve keeper Willy Caballero to deny them time and again.
And Conte was quick to acknowledge the Argentine shot-stopper’s contribution as he stated, “Willy played very well,” before focusing on what he felt was the one negative of the night.
“But if I have to find a negative thing tonight it is that like against Nottingham Forest we conceded a goal in the last minute, and maybe we paid for a bit of lack of attention, but I repeat I must be pleased because this tie was a very tough one for us,” Conte added as he signed off.