Antonio Conte revealed he was forced to deal out some home truths to his Chelsea flops who found themselves 3-0 down against Burnley at half time.
A Sam Vokes brace and a Stephen Ward thunderbolt helped Sean Dyche’s men capitalsie on Gary Cahill’s early red card and condemn the champions to an embarrassing opening day defeat.
Conte’s words of wisdom at the break did at least inspire a comeback of sorts with goals from debutant Alvaro Morata and David Luiz setting up a frantic finale for the nine men of Chelsea, who also saw Cesc Fabregas dismissed.
‘I always like to tell the truth, I think they understood, we try to react in the right way,’ Conte said, revealing the details of his half time dressing down.
‘We didn’t lose the balance.’
Chelsea 2017/18 Fixtures
Plymouth Argyle (A) – Tues Aug 15
Tottenham (A) – Sat Aug 20
Everton (H) – Sun Aug 27
Leicester City (A) – Sat Sep 9
Arsenal (H) – Sun Sep 17
Stoke City (A) – Sat Sep 23
The introduction of the club’s record signing, Morata, on the hour mark sparked Chelsea into life and his first goal for the club threatened to help earn his new club an unlikely point.
It has been a baptism of fire for the former Real Madrid striker, who missed a penalty in the Community Shield defeat against Arsenal last week, but Conte was full of praise for the Spain international.
He said: ‘I think Alvaro has good space to improve.
‘He’s working very well and working very hard to quickly find good fitness and adapt himself to our style of football.
‘For sure he played very well, he scored a goal and played a good game.’