Conte: I wanted to give squad players a chance

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said he rotated his team against Qarabag to give chances for fringe players to impress, rather than with Sunday’s game against Arsenal in mind.

Michy Batshuayi and Andreas Christensen were among those to start in the 6-0 Champions League win on Tuesday, while Alvaro Morata, David Luiz and Victor Moses were unused substitutes.

But Conte insisted he did not have one eye on the game against the Gunners – who play in the Europa League on Thursday – and said he wanted to show he had faith in his whole squad to get the job done.

“I wanted to give an opportunity, a good chance, to Michy and Christiansen,” he said.

“To play in the Champions League, it means that the coach trusts you. My message was this: I trust all my players, not only with words but with facts.

“I decided to play with a rotation because we have to start the process to improve these players and try to create a good competition between them. A positive competition is very important.

“It was a perfect start for us, to play the first game in the Champions League, to win with a good result, to score many goals and to finish the game with a clean sheet.”