Antonio Conte felt Chelsea showed the desire that brought them Premier League glory still burns brightly after they got their title defence up and running with a battling 2-1 win over Tottenham.
Marcos Alonso gave the Blues a 24th-minute lead at Wembley with a brilliant free-kick and the left-wing back proved to be the unlikely matchwinner two minutes from time after Michy Batshuayi's own-goal briefly pulled Tottenham level.
Last weekend's shock 3-2 loss to Burnley, an unhelpful raft of injuries and suspensions and the ongoing saga surrounding Diego Costa's future have all cast an unwelcome shadow over the opening days of the season and Conte was delighted to see his players show their teeth when it mattered.
"I want to thank my players because of the commitment, desire and heart they put on the pitch was incredible," he told Sky Sports.
"It wasn't easy to play against Tottenham. Tottenham are a really strong team and they showed they can be a great team.
"I am pleased for the commitment of my players, their big will to fight on every ball.
"They showed me the desire of last season stays still in our heart. Also, our fans were incredible to push the team in every moment of the game.
"Now it is important to restart, to continue to work and try to recover the best form of these players."
We'll be hearing from Antonio Conte shortly... August 20, 2017
Conte maintained Chelsea need to add further reinforcements before the transfer window closes, but does not want this stance to be seen as a poor reflection on his current crop.
"I think this is the perfect response of the champions," he said. "Don't forget we are the champions. Last season we won the league and to win 30 games in the Premier League is not easy.
"For sure, now, we are having some problems with injuries and bans but we are ready and we will continue to work and be focused on the pitch
"We will work in the market to improve our team and improve our squad. But I am happy with these players and happy with this squad."
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