Antonio Conte singled out Chelsea's young players for praise after his side saw-off a determined Everton 2-1 to reach the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

Stunning goals from Antonio Rudiger and Willian were enough to put Chelsea two to the good at Stamford Bridge, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled a deserved goal back for the manager-less visitors in the final minute on Wednesday.

And though Chelsea relied on Willy Caballero to keep a rejuvenated Everton – under the temporary charge of David Unsworth following Ronald Koeman's sacking – at bay, Conte was delighted with the display.

"I think the performance was very good, above all in the first half when we created chances to score," said Conte, who believes the EFL Cup is the ideal competition to hand Chelsea's younger players first-team experience.

"Then in the second half, I think we suffered a bit, but I think it's normal because Everton is a good team and they have just changed the coach, and usually in this type of situation the players want to try to give more.

"For this reason this game was very dangerous for us. But I'm very happy because tonight I saw a lot of positive things, above all the young players' performance.

"I think tonight Charly Musonda and Kenedy and [Ethan] Ampadu, don't forget he is only 17 years old, I think they played a good game.

"It's very important to trust in these players, because I repeat they deserve to have this chance. And tonight I'm very happy because they had a good answer.

"It will be very difficult because there are a lot of the best teams. But we want to try to give the opportunity to our young players to have these type of games.

"Then you know you can take some risks, but if you want to develop young players you have to give them a chance to play a tough game."

One facet of Chelsea's performance that frustrated Conte was their inability to keep a clean sheet, and the Italian wants his side – who conceded twice against Watford on Saturday – to remain focused until the final whistle.

"I think Caballero played very well, but if I have to find a negative thing tonight, in the same way, we conceded a goal in the last minute and maybe we paid for a lack of attention," he added.

"Because when you are 2-0 up and there is only one minute to go, the focus is not high. But I repeat, I must be pleased because this draw was very difficult for us."