Antonio Conte admits to ignoring Diego Costa substitution request

Antonio Conte spoke to the media after Chelsea's 3-0 win over Leicester City.

Antonio Conte admits to ignoring Diego Costa substitution request
Diego Costa in action during Chelsea's 3-0 win over Leicester City | Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte admitted to the media that he ignored the substitution request of striker, Diego Costa during their 3-0 win over Leicester City.

Keeping him on

The Blues put in a excellent performance against Claudio Ranieri's Premier League champions, with Costa opening the scoring with his seventh goal of the season. Eden Hazard and Victor Moses added the second and third goals to round off a convincing victory for Conte's side.

Costa's disciplinary record has been the only weakness of the Spaniard's season so far, and is only one booking away from the a one-game suspension. Costa seemed to signal to be brought off midway through the second half, as a card would have seen him miss the clash with Manchester United. However, Conte ignored the request and he justified his decision after the game.

"If I can, Costa I keep him [on the pitch] until the end," Conte told Sky Sports. "I can take the risk about this, for a yellow card or for injury. I decide."

He continued, "He must understand for this team he is a player with a great personality and if I can, I keep him on the pitch until the end in every game." The Italian admitted that, "I know I risked it, if he got another yellow card he would miss the game against Manchester United. But for me, today is more important."

Conte added, "Diego is in good shape. Costa is an important player to us. He has a good personality. We need his passion in every moment of the game."

Above: Antonio Conte on the touchline during Chelsea's 3-0 win over Leicester City | Photo: Getty Images
Above: Antonio Conte on the touchline during Chelsea's 3-0 win over Leicester City | Photo: Getty Images

Happy all around

It has been a good start to life at Stamford Bridge for the Italian, but still he was dogged by rumours of been the next manager to be sacked during the week; Conte dismissed those rumours and talked about his side's great performance.

"When you work so hard during the week, it's logical you want to see a good result, good play, a good game," he said. "I asked to start very well with the intensity. To try to do what we do during training sessions and I'm very happy."

Conte concluded, "I saw this. I'm very happy, above all for my players."

Chelsea will take Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, October 23 with kick-off at 4pm BST.