We all learnt many things after Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Manchester United on Sunday night. Chelsea can beat anyone on their day, the heat between Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho is hotter than ever. But the biggest talking point has to be the decision to leave out David Luiz for the match at Stamford Bridge. It was a big call for Conte to make but it’s one that could pay off. Not only has the Italian dropped a fan favourite and a big character, he’s replaced him with a quiet but focused promising centre-back in Andreas Christensen.
The defender had already earned Conte’s trust as he started against teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City already this season. However, the defender’s performance in the win against United has further increased his chances of becoming a regular Blues starter.
The friction between Conte and Luiz is obvious. After the 3-3 draw with Roma in October, Luiz’s frustration of being substitued in the match annoyed his manager. Despite starting against the Italians on Tuesday, Luiz was poor as was his attitude that has affected his recent performances. Conte wanted to send out a message not just to Luiz but to any player of the squad. The 30-year-old was seen next to countryman Kenedy, not even on the bench. Christensen was given the chance to show what he can do, even ahead of £34m signing Antonio Rudiger. The 21-year-old delivered and produced a composed display in stopping United forwards’ Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford.
The Dane who will be involved for his country’s play-off tie against the Republic of Ireland, learnt so much from his two year loan spell in Germany. Christensen won Borussia Monchengladbach’s player of the season award back in 2016. A sign of the bright future he has.
Conte labelled Christensen’s performance against United as “amazing” and said he is the “past and future for Chelsea”. Hopefully this is the start of things to come for Christensen and his time with us.