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Antonio Conte plays down David Luiz injury concerns, plays up importance of hugs

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Chelsea had a rather excellent day out at Goodison Park earlier on Sunday, ending Everton’s eight-match home winning streak in rather emphatic fashion, with goals from Pedro, Gary Cahill, and Willian powering the Blues to a 3-0 win and a temporary seven-point lead at the top of the table. While that lead will no doubt be back down to four by the end of the day because Arsenal are absolutely useless, navigating our toughest fixture left in such emphatic fashion should give the squad all the confidence needed to see out this title win. And we even got a clean sheet!

"I must be pleased for the performance. It wasn't easy to play against a really strong team and a really good manager that prepared the game really well with good tactical organisation. My players showed me great patience to wait for the right moment to hit.”

"For us it was very important to keep the clean sheet after 13 games. This is very important for our confidence for the final part of the season. We know Everton won eight games in a row at Goodison Park so it's a good win for us, we must be pleased for this."

There are still four games to go however. This is no time to get carried away just yet. Game by game we must go.

"It is a great win. Now it is important for us to prepare the right way the next game. If we don't win against Middlesbrough we lose this great win.”

"Now there are four games to go. For us every win is a great win and for this reason we must celebrate in the right way, with my players with the staff with our fans. We must have great enthusiasm and great patience because we are having a great season, but to become a fantastic season we must win [the title]."

The one concerning thing from the win was the apparent groin injury to David Luiz, who’s become the lynchpin of the backline since his return to the club the day before Transfer Deadline Day last summer. While Nathan Aké is capable enough to deputize — “he looked like a veteran”, said Conte — it is still a disruption to the usual proceedings to replace a key starter. Fortunately, Conte is not expecting a long spell on the sidelines for David Luiz.

“I didn't speak with the doctor about his injury but I don't think it is a serious injury. I hope in the next game that David Luiz is available to play. Also now in this part of the season it is important sometimes to try to play if you are not 100 percent. He is showing us great commitment in this season. Don't forget his injury in the knee after the game against City.”

-Antonio Conte; source: ESPN

Before the match, Conte talked of Chelsea’s need to be warriors. As a man who played through the 2012 Champions League final on one leg, David Luiz’s warrior status should not be in question. Just in case, hopefully he got a couple extra hugs.

“Not words but hugs, hugs”

-Conte describing his response to the players in the dressing room after the 3-0 win over Everton; source: Independent

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