Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he substituted captain John Terry at half-time for tactical reasons as his side lost 3-0 at Manchester City.
Defending champions Chelsea were 1-0 down at the break thanks to Sergio Aguero's goal when Mourinho opted to change a defence that had suffered a tough 45 minutes.
The man to make way was skipper Terry -- never previously substituted by Mourinho as Chelsea manager -- and the Portuguese told Sky Sports: "I know [Kurt] Zouma is the fastest defender we have in the squad, and that at that moment City would be playing on the counter-attack."
He pointed out that other Chelsea managers had substituted or dropped Terry, adding: "I'm the one that gave him the chance to be what he is -- a fantastic player and a fantastic captain."
Mourinho praised his side's second-half performance but admitted "the best team in the first half won the game" after late goals from Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho left the Londoners with only one point from their two matches so far.
But he said that was "better than zero points from two games" and that he could still "multiply the 36 remaining games by three."
"The best team in the first half won the game," he said. "The best team in the second half was Chelsea for sure. We had a difficult first half, we didn't create a lot and our goalkeeper [Asmir Begovic] made a few important saves.
"Second half, everything was different. If the 1-0 was a doubtful result at minute 70, 3-0 is completely fake. Chelsea were the best team for the whole second half."
He said the shift in momentum had been demonstrated by City's decision to bring on central defender Martin Demichelis moments before the second goal, adding: "They make a change because they feel 1-0 is in danger.
"Their decision to bring [defender Martin] Demichelis is an intelligent change, the sort of change I get criticised for all the time.
"In the end, I have to be happy with the second half we did. But that is not enough to win the game."