The Blues ran out 3-1 winners at the Etihad thanks to second-half goals from Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard.
City took the lead right before the stroke of half-time thanks to an own goal from Gary Cahill.
Pep Guardiola’s men missed a host of chances to double their advantage and paid for their poor finishing on the hour mark when Costa latched on to a sublime pass from Cesc Fabregas and fired home from just inside the box.
Conte was delighted with the heart his players showed after conceding so late in the first half and lauded their spirit in his post-match interview.
“I think today was very tough and the game was open until the end,” the charistmatic Italian said. “There were lots of chances for both teams to score.
“I saw lots of character from my team and that’s very important to grow.
“But we must continue to work and improve.”