Football

Luiz was a surprise omission from the squad to face Man Utd.

David Luiz and Kenedy angered Antonio Conte before being dropped

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Antonio Conte was vindicated in his team selection as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian had raised a few eyebrows by omitting David Luiz from the squad, instead handing a surprise start to Andreas Christensen.

The 21-year-old excelled alongside Gary Cahill, effectively stifling Marcus Rashford and restricting Romelu Lukaku to just 24 touches in the whole game.

Despite all that, it was Luiz who remained a talking point as he sat alongside Kenedy, wearing their own clothes instead of club gear, in the stands.

Perhaps it was about time Conte changed things up. The Times had reported that he risked being sacked if his side lost the game, so it was imperative that he fielded a side he believed could get the better of Jose Mourinho's men.

The Telegraph have now been able to explain the thinking behind dropping Luiz and Kenedy, and it seems to be a combination of Conte laying down the law and being influenced by the 3-0 defeat to Roma in midweek.

It's claimed that the Blues boss initially had words with the centre-back in training after he reacted angrily to being substituted in the 3-3 draw with Roma a fortnight ago.

When he then performed badly in the second fixture against the Serie A outfit, that proved the final straw.

Kenedy's behaviour 

As for Kenedy, who was an unused substitute in Tuesday's thrashing, he irked Conte by yawning while he was speaking to the players after the loss.

He'll have to tread carefully, as Roman Abramovich is a huge fan of Luiz and the Chelsea owner was one of the main architects behind bringing him back from PSG in 2016.

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League

Prior to the game, Conte had insisted the decision was purely tactical, but he seemed to contradict that afterwards.

"I don't know [if he has a future at Chelsea]" he told Sky Sports, as per ESPN's Liam Twomey.

"He has to work really hard otherwise he is on the bench/in the stand."

It's worth bearing in mind that the 30-year-old has had strapping on his knee of late, which could be a further factor. His manager's comments make it sound like there was a little more to it, though.

The last thing Chelsea need is another feud like the Diego Costa saga this season.

Was Conte right to drop David Luiz? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Gary Cahill
David Luiz
Premier League
Football
Chelsea

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