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CFC

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke after his side’s home win in the FA Cup Quarter-Final against Manchester United tonight.

He told Fox Sports Italia: “We all knew it was a difficult game because Manchester United is one of the best teams in Premier League, they can change many players”.

“We created several chances but we conceded a huge goal attempt due to a defensive mistake, I am very happy for the final score and now we need to be focused on our next game against Stoke City in Premier League…then the international break”.

When asked about the altercation with Manchester United manager José Mourinho, Conte added: “I am Chelsea manager and I do everything for fans and Chelsea’s sake”.

 

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Chelsea beat Manchester United again going through the next stage: the Blues are now set to play the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

Manchester United pressed high creating a chance with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, before Chelsea went close to scoring twice in a frenetic first half. Both Eden Hazard stunner and Gary Cahill‘s shot from a close range were denied by Spanish goalkeeper De Gea.

Ander Herrera was shown a red card after being booked twice in a short while; Mourinho reacted replacing Mkhitaryan with Fellaini in midfield.

Then Antonio Conte and the Special One had an altercation stopped by the fourth official following following Valencia’s late challenge on Alonso.

At 52′ N’Golo Kanté broke the deadlock with a low shot past De Gea, 30 yards out from the goal.

Then Marcus Rashford missed a clear chance following a huge mistake by David Luiz, but Blues’ goalkeeper Courtois produced a brilliant save. Also Willian went close to scoring with a curled shot while Diego Costa missed two chances from a close range.

With 10′ left to go Cesc Fabregas replaced Willian and Ashley Young made space for Manchester United midfielder Lingard.

 

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Manchester United tried to score with Henrikh Mkhitaryan before Chelsea went close to scoring twice in a frenetic first half, with both Eden Hazard stunner and Gary Cahill‘s shot from a close range denied by Spanish goalkeeper De Gea.

Ander Herrera was shown a red card after being booked twice in a short while; Antonio Conte and José Mourinho had an altercation stopped by the fourth official following following Valencia’s late challenge on Alonso.

Chelsea Conte Mourinho

 

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CHELSEA – Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Diego Costa, Hazard.

Subs: Begovic, Terry, Zouma, Chalobah, Fabregas, Pedro, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

 

MANCHESTER UNITED – De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling (c), Rojo, Darmian, Herrera, Pogba, Young, Mkhitaryan, Rashford.

Subs: Romero, Bailly, Blind, Carrick, Fellaini, Lingard, Mata

Manager: José Mourinho

 

Referee: Michael Oliver

Kick Off: 7.45 GMT

Venue: Stamford Bridge

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Team News

Chelsea

– Conte claimed he has full squad available with no fresh injuries

– John Terry can start tonight, as well as Asmir Begovic and Kurt Zouma

–  Pedro has scored in each round of this season’s FA Cup, scoring a total of four goals (also registering two assists).

– The Blues have won 15 of their 16 home games under Antonio Conte in all competitions, including the last 12: the only defeat was Liverpool back in September

– Chelsea have reached the FA Cup quarter-finals 12 times in the 21st century – more than any other side.

 

Manchester  United

– Red Devils travelled to London without all their main strikers yesterday: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended for three games after elbowing Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings in Premier League. Wayne Rooney, who was supposed to start after not travelling to Russia for Europa League match against Rostov last week, got injured in the last training before travelling to the English capital in an accidental clash with Phil Jones. Anthony Martial was reported injured, while Marcus Rashford is ill.

– José Mourinho could move a winger or another midfielder to the centre of United attacks, like Young, Fellaini, Mata, Lingard or Mkhitaryan but to face such an important game without all the four main strikers is surely a major blow for Mourinho’s side who are looking for “revenge” after last October 4-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

– Bailly is back to Manchester United squad after missing Europa League clash against Rostov for suspension

– The last time United lost an FA Cup tie away from Old Trafford was their 1-0 defeat by Chelsea in 2013.

– Jose Mourinho has never lost an FA Cup quarter-final.

– This will be United’s 46th competitive game of the season, but only Chelsea’s 34th.

 

Predicted Line Ups

CHELSEA – Courtois, David Luiz, Cahill, Azipilicueta, Moses, Matic, Kante, Marcos Alonso, Eden Hazard, Pedro, Diego Costa.

MANCHESTER UNITED – De Gea,  Bailly, Rojo, Jones, Valencia, Herrera, Carrick, Pogba, Shaw, Mkhytarian, Mata.

 

 

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists he will select the best squad to face Manchester United tonight, when the Blues will try to go through the semi-finals.

“The FA Cup is a great competition and for this reason I want to try to make the best decision for the game against United, – Conte said – We didn’t play in the week, our last game was Monday, and then we play again on Saturday. I don’t see the necessity to rest players and also, because United will do the same against us”.

“This game is important for us and for them. I think their formation will be very good because I think that United, along with City, have the best squad in this league – with the number of players in the squad and the quality also”.

“Also because they have had four days to recover [from their Europa League trip to Rostov]. We could have played this game on Sunday or Saturday, but we are playing on Monday and I think the FA have shown great respect for Manchester United to play the last day we are able to play this game”.

Then, when asked about Chelsea’s ambitions for the current season, Conte added: “For me, it is not important to think about winning the Double,’ he said. ‘It is important for me and the players to play game by game, to see what we reach at the end of the season”.

“Now, this game is the most important game, because you either go through or you stop your run in the FA Cup. For this reason, it is the most important game for us in this moment”. 

“Then, after tonight, our most important game will be against Stoke – the Italian manager ended – We have to build our way to try to arrive at the end of the season to celebrate something. But the way is very long”.

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Antonio Conte spoke ahead of his side’s home clash against Manchester United in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals.

The Chelsea manager showed his full respect towards former Blues’ boss José Mourinho, as the Italian manager knows all about the Portuguese’s history at Stamford Bridge.

“For sure, he is one of the best in the world, – Conte told the club’s official website – I think that Jose Mourinho wrote a good part of the history of Chelsea. He won a lot with the players and he did a great job here. It is important not to forget this and I have great respect for him because he is a winner and I like his winning mentality”.

“His history with Chelsea is great and I know very well he is in the hearts of the Chelsea fans and this is great because he deserves this. For sure, I hope in the future to try to emulate his wins here”.

About the importance of counter-attack in football: “Not only here, but I never, never, never train and prepare for the counter-attack. I think the counter-attack is an option, only if you have these types of players – players who are very, very fast. When there is this situation to have space, it is normal and the players know very well what they have to do”.

“For me it is important to try to train the other aspects. When we have the ball, when we stay almost always in the opposition half, to find a solution, to prepare when we are attacking – I train this. I think the counter-attack is very difficult to train”.

“We all know that during the game there are different situations and you must be prepared for different games, and also to play in different parts of the pitch. If you have a game where you stay for 70 minutes in the opponents’ half, you must know what you have to do, otherwise you are in trouble”.

Then Conte added: “Sometimes you find teams that force you to defend in your own half of the pitch, and you must know how to behave in this moment. It’s important to make sure the players are prepared to face this situation”.

 

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Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan told the club’s official website that his side will try to beat Chelsea as the Red Devils want to stay in both F.A. Cup and Europa League after winning the EFL Cup last week.

The Armenia international said: “We have to play with everyone. It doesn’t matter whether we’re playing away or at home, we just have to do our best and to keep playing very well. That’s the most important thing”.

“There is no sense to think about avoiding Chelsea or someone else [in cup draws] because you’re probably going to meet them in the final”.

“I think it’s better to play them now, to see if you can win or not and then you move forward” Mkhitaryan added.

The Manchester United star confirmed that José Mourinho‘s main goal is to stay in three different competitions after lifting the EFL Cup at Wembley against Southampton.

“It’s going to be very important to stay in three different competitions [Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup]. We’re going to try to do that. It’s not going to be easy because as you go further it gets difficult but we have to try”.

“We’re having a good time now, we’re having good games, we have a good squad and we can reach the maximum that we want.”

Then Mkhitaryan ended: “We just have to get ready for that game. It’s not going to be easy as everyone knows but we know how we’re going to play and we’re hoping for a good game and a good result for us”.

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