Chelsea FC's coach Antonio Conte has described Azerbaijani FC Qarabag as "a good team" as he conducted his first Champions League press conference since taking the reins at Stamford Bridge.
Pedro, Davide Zappacosta, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi weighed in with goals too, before Maksim Medvedev's own goal sealed the win for Chelsea. In truth, the 29-year-old deserved at least one goal but he was denied by the woodwork and some robust challenges.
Lyon's bid to show off its new stadium - which was a 2016 European Championship venue - starts away in a group that offers relatively easy travel compared to some of the eastern European options.
"He's very good with the ball, very good without the ball".
"I feel ready, ready to be part of the team". Lionel Messi is six shy of being the second player to reach the century mark in Champions League play. Looked to be back to full fitness playing in tricky conditions and a place in Conte's next starting XI surely awaits. A lovely right-foot shot from the edge of the box rippled the top corner of the Qarabag net and set the Blues on their way to a comfortable victory.
Azpilicueta, 28, played every minute of his side's successful Premier League campaign last season and has been a regular since joining Chelsea from Marseille in 2012.
MF Marcos Alonso, 7 - With more freedom than usual, Alonso was soon into his buccaneering groove and might have scored in the opening moments of the game but his shot was turned around the post by Qarabag keeper Ibrahim Sehic. A month on and Conte's side have four successive wins. Coutinho is likely to be in the squad but may have to settle for a place on the bench.
"To play in Champions League means the coach trusts you". I trust all my players, not only with words but with facts. We have to start a process to improve our players.
"They have a lot of players who play for the national team". "We must pay attention", he said. Otherwise we risk a bad injury to delay the situation.
If qualification from Group C is determined by goal difference, Chelsea will have enhanced their chances significantly with this result. He is in good form.
Conte explained why Qarabag will provide a tough test at the start of their maiden Champions League outing. The English champions proved a different proposition. Chelsea played very good.
The 5-0 defeat to City on Saturday has probably helped smooth Coutinho's path back to the first team as supporters have spent the last couple of days looking for any strand of positivity.
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