"To finish this year in this way is great for me, great for the players, great for the club and our fans", said Conte after watching his side move up to second in the table on 45 points, 13 behind City ahead of the league leaders' game against Crystal Palace yesterday.
The west London side return to Premier League action on Wednesday night with a trop to Arsenal. "To be able to do this on your first chance, I will remember this year forever". "We have a lot of great games to face".
Hughes admitted afterwards he had prioritised Monday's crunch game at home to Newcastle by leaving out key players, with Xherdan Shaqiri, Joe Allen and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting all on the bench. "Not at all", Conte told Chelsea TV.
Antonio Rudiger opened the scoring after three minutes of play, Danny Drinkwater scored his first Chelsea goal with a screamer in the 9th minute while Pedro increased the home side's tally to three in the 23rd minute.
Defender Bruce was on commentary duty for BBC Sport on Saturday and he was very impressed by what he saw from Drinkwater as the midfielder made just his third Premier League start of the season. "I am the coach and I look after the things on the pitch, if the club can help us, it would be okay, but if they can't it will be okay as well".
But Conte, who himself rested Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko, insists rotation is inevitable during the draining Christmas schedule.
"The decisions weren't easy, but they were decisions I was prepared to make".