The defending Premier League champions succumbed to the superior attacking prowess of Manchester City as former Blues midfielder Kevin De Bruyne scored a second-half winner.
Chelsea have made a mixed start to the Premier League campaign following a return of 13 points from their opening seven games.
Indeed, Conte’s side are already six points adrift of leaders Manchester City and Manchester United to raise questions about their ability to defend their top-flight crown.
Chelsea, of course, made a dismal attempt at retaining their title in 2015-16 when the west London side limped to a tenth-place finish under Jose Mourinho and then Guus Hiddink.
However, Conte insists he is still proud of his squad despite their disappointing defeat as Chelsea take a break for a fortnight ahead of a trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday 14 October.
“I see my players every day and I am proud to be their coach because I see their commitment in every training session and every game and I am pleased for this,” Conte told Chelsea’s website.
“For sure, to defend the title is very difficult because the past has shown it is very difficult to win two titles in a row.
“Our motivation must always be high, in every competition. We must put all of ourselves into trying to do the best in every game.”
Chelsea finished seven points clear of their closest title challengers Tottenham Hotspur last season to win the Premier League crown in Conte’s first season in charge.
The Blues signed six players in the summer transfer window in an attempt to improve their squad ahead of a return to the Champions League.
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