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Chelsea captain Gary Cahill says Antonio Conte ‘made a great finish’ at the club, whatever is going to happen amid speculations regarding the Italian manager’s future.

Cahill told Chelsea’s official website: “Certainly we feel the sense of uncertainty. That’s obvious to everyone in the last few months. Obviously as players we have no impact on that situation. If I was a betting man, I’m sure the club and the manager will have spoken. Let’s see”.

“All I can say is it’s been a great finish. If the manager stays on then he stays on; if he doesn’t then he’s gone away with an FA Cup. I’m sure the manager will make the best decision for himself and his family and the club will make what they feel is the best decision. It’s totally out of our hands”. 

Conte himself admitted he worked even harder than last season in the last few months to improve the squad and revive Chelsea season.

“I think that’s something that everyone at the club can be proud of, even the people who you don’t see behind the scenes but who work tirelessly every day. It’s a long slog in the season. Everyone feels like we’ve got the reward, and now we’re going to celebrate and have a good time.”

The England international added he would also quiet down rumors as ‘the future is out of our hands’.

“Probably the uncertainty to be put to bed and whatever’s going to happen to happen. We’ll see what happens. It’s out of our hands. We have to try and deliver on the pitch. We fell short in some aspects of the season but today we produced, and the rest behind the scenes is not down to us. A lot of the lads have got big summers ahead.”

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Marcos Alonso lifted his first FA Cup title of his career since joining Chelsea from Fiorentina in June 2016.

The Spaniard told Chelsea’s official website: ‘I think it was well-deserved. We knew playing this way we were going to suffer but the team defended very well and we scored one of the few chances we had”.

“We felt comfortable, even if we suffered a little bit, because 90 minutes defending against good players. We stayed compact during the whole game and we helped each other out, so I think it was a much-deserved win”.

Manchester United manager and players believe the Red Devils were ‘better by far’ in the final. Marcos Alonso responded: “It was hard, not only in the second half but in the first half as well. We knew playing this way we were going to suffer and we had to defend a lot but I think we did a great game. We had a plan we executed very well and I’m very happy for the title”.

“I’m happy for my first FA Cup win, it feels good to go on our holidays with a title. The fans will be happy after the win, it was a good game and a title for them. I’m very grateful to them for their support during the whole season. Now we will have a good rest and come back stronger next season”.

Chelsea winger Willian came off the bench in the FA Cup Final win against Manchester United at Wembley stadium.

The Brazilian star did not look happy as he played just a few minutes in the extra-time after replacing Blues’ goalscorer Eden Hazard.

Willian added fuel to fire by posting a squad-wide image of celebrations hiding manager Antonio Conte with some emojis.

The London Evening Standard reports the former Shakhtar Donetsk star, who has been repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester United, told ESPN Brazil: “Oh boy, do you really want me to tell you [about my relationship with Conte]? ? Let’s save it for the next interview.”

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“It will be sad if Antonio Conte leave us” Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud told SkySports HQ following the FA Cup win at Wembley.

 

The France international, who joined the Blues from Arsenal on a 18-months contract in the January transfer window scoring 3 goals.

Giroud and N’Golo Kante were both included in the 23-man squad to play the World Cup in Russia. He said: “We need to move on – I have got a World Cup and then I will think about next year. I want to win some more trophies with Chelsea.” 

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Gary Cahill is over the moon after lifting his first trophy as Chelsea captain.

“We have to win things. Two league titles, an FA Cup and a runners up medal in two years… it’s not bad is it?” the Blues skipper said after winning the final against Manchester United today.

Speaking of Eden Hazard, who scored the penalty that gave the win to Chelsea, he said:

“He was fantastic as was all the boys. We had a lot of defending too, they pushed us to the end. Azpi’s been superb all season, we’re buzzing, got the job done. We’re delighted.

“It’s a dream come true because this is my first as captain of the club. John was last year. I’m delighted I’ve won these competitions because the last one in 2012 I didn’t play in and it’s not the same if you don’t put everything on the pitch.”

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Chelsea face Manchester United in the FA Cup Final at Wembley today. Here’s some team news and our predicted line-ups

Team News

CHELSEA

  • Emerson Palmieri is the only absent for tonight’s clash, as Antonio Conte confirmed when asked to give an injury update during his press conference at Cobham.

MANCHESTER UNITED

  • Romelu Lukaku is still a doubt despite he has travelled with the squad ahead of the game;
  • Also Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial are expected to miss out on the starting line-up;

Predicted Line Ups

CHELSEA (3-5-1-1) Courtois, Rüdiger, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Kanté, Bakayoko, Fàbregas, Moses, Hazard, Giroud

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-3-3) De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Young, Pogba, Matic, Herrera, Lingard, Lukaku, Sanchez

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes his family will snub the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel as “they know the importance of FA Cup Final” at Wembley.

The Italian said: “I hope my family will be more interested in the FA Cup final” said Conte. “I am sure of this also because they know the importance of my job, my work. They’ve always backed me in every moment of my life”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was pretty relaxed when asked to give a comment on 2017/18 campaign, which looks a fiasco if compared with last season’s Premier League title.

The Italian told journalists:

“I always try to protect my work and I am very pleased of my job. I worked harder and better than last season. Obviously I like to win trophies and being winner but at the same time – even if you work very hard trying to give the 120%,  miracles do not always happen. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not. And taking decisions about future is not my task”.

When asked if he will go o holiday following the FA Cup Final, Conte assessed: 

“Yes, the club told us we could go home after the FA Cup Final. I did not change my commitment for the club, which has been always the same. I don’t know if something has changed: last season we were heroes for Chelsea’s fans. And now has my status changed? I do not know. However, in my soul and in my heart I am an hero, because I gave always my 120%. In every season you must divide responsibilities with club, manager and players: last season we were heroes, this season I don’t know. It does not care for me”.

Conte: “FA Cup final is a great achievement and Chelsea will be focused”

Royal Wedding in London? No, thanks.

“I hope my family will be more interested in the FA Cup final” said Conte. “I am sure of this also because they know the importance of my job, my work. They’ve always backed me in every moment of my life”.

Will the FA Cup result be decisive to judge Antonio Conte’s work at Stamford Bridge? The Italian said:

“I repeat, other people have the task to judge my season and I am not the right person to tell you how the situation is expected to be going. I must be honest, I am not interested. I am only focused on my job”. 

If you don’t win a trophy, does it mean you did not work very well? It’s right to separate the two aspects, because if you don’t win it does not always mean you did not do a good job. In Italy [Juventus], Germany [Bayern Munich] and France [PSG] is there only one team who worked well?”

About last year’s FA Cup final against Arsenal:

“Last season has been a wonderful season, I think we did a fantastic work with the players and I think last season we reached an important success. If you are winning and you are going with normal velocity, you do not risk to break your engine. It does not happen if you are running too fast. Last season we won and we divided this big achievement with players and the club, this season we finished 5th in the table and we still have to play an FA Cup final, then we’ll have to divide again”.

“I do not like to speak about myself, we are a team and we win and lose together. If I am frustrated all my players feel in the same way. Obviously, I like to win trophies and being winner, but when you try to do everything you can’t be satisfied every time. I did not change the commitment to the club”.

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Inter Milan lifted a special trophy following a determined and clinical clash in a friendly game in memory of Ray Wilkins. An important event to raise money for both Chelsea CFC Foundation and Crohn’s & Colitis UK, the charity nominated by the Wilkins family.

WARM WELCOME – The whole crowd paid tribute to  Wilkins’ family with a standing-ovation. Former Siena and Genoa midfielder Kharja hit the bar for the first attempt of the game at Stamford Bridge, in front of 28.155 fans.

A warm welcome also for Blues‘ ex-striker Hernan Crespo, who spoke after the game: “I hope tomorrow Chelsea can win the FA Cup Final, of course it will be a great match, a face to face between [Jose] Mourinho and [Antonio] Conte and Mourinho against his past. I think something can change if Chelsea wins, it depends on tomorrow’s result”.

INTER FOREVER STARTING XI – Toldo, Chivu, Materazzi, Samuel, Colonnese, Zanetti, Djorkaeff,, Kharja, Cambiasso, Karagounis, Crespo

CHELSEA LEGENDS STARTING XI – Cudicini, Le Saux, Lebœuf, Desailly, Sinclair, Wise, Petrescu, Di Matteo, Morris, Zola, Flo

Roberto Di Matteo put the Blues in front with a low strike and some’ great saves from Cudicini were crucial to keep the clean sheet. Marco Materazzi‘s header and David Suazo’s tap from a close range secured a 1-2 score at half-time.

MIXED ZONE – Di Matteo on FA Cup Final: “I will support Chelsea tomorrow, it will be a massive game between two teams with great history in a great stadium as Wembley. I hope Chelsea can win, of course”. More from Di Matteo on Antonio Conte: “I repeat it would be great if Conte could stay at Chelsea and Chelsea should continue with Antonio Conte in charge. I think he gave balance to the squad and the club”. 

Sebastien Frey‘s outstanding clearance denied a clear goal from Chelsea’s Eidur Gudjohnsen, then a brilliant finish of Karagounis raised up the score a few minutes after Casiraghi had a further huge chance to score. The Inter Legends’ 41-year-old scored again with 2 minutes left to go and sealed a 1-4 win. Chelsea crowned Carlo Cudicini as their Man of the Match, but the hosts were the team to lift the trophy at Stamford Bridge. Lebœuf limped off the pitch with minor injury.

 

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte spoke out in Cobham this afternoon, following his side’s training session ahead of FA Cup final. The Italian pointed out some aspects will be crucial to face Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday after switching off his mobile phone…just in case

“I do not like to speak about me but I like to speak about us, about our season together. About this season: we have a chance to win a trophy and it will be a great achievement for the club and for our fans. In my career I played other cup finals, in Italy during my first season at Juventus and also last season we lost against Arsenal: we win and we lose all together. I remember last cup final against Arsenal, in which the first goal was not good. Then we were able to comeback and finish the game with 10 men after Moses was sent-off. It was a pity and a strange final. We had the possibility to clinch the Double last season, this season we have another chance and we want to fight, to win because we deserved this achievement”.

“For sure tomorrow I will shake Jose Mourinho‘s hand. I don’t want to provide you the starting XI, tomorrow we will see also if Caballero starts in goal. We only have Emerson Palmieri out. No more news”.

My last game at Chelsea? For sure I can say this will be my last match in this season. I have a contract and I am committed to the club. We must be focused on tomorrow’s game, which is a very difficult game and we want to end up the season with a trophy. For players, the manager and our fans: we are focused on our target and we want to win this game”. 

“We need to be focused because we have an important game to play. Don’t forget we are talking about the oldest trophy in the world, the FA Cup. This is a final, when you play a final the most important thing is to win: it will be a tactical game, but I don’t know what kind of game we will see. Having a chance to play for the second time in a row a final at Wembley, I think this is a great achievement. The most important thing is to lift the trophy tomorrow night. I can tell you this season we worked really hard, even harder than last season, I am sure of this and is enough for myself”.

Manchester United have the possibility to pick many important player, I don’t know which will be Mourinho’s decision for tomorrow but if Lukaku misses the game there will be other good players to replace him. I won’t change my plan only for one player, I prepare every game against the whole team. There’s always a difference if you are manager or a player in a Final. A manager has great responsibilities and have to think about all, a player knows there’s a staff around him: I know the situation. I will sleep in the normal way. I do not sleep a lot in general, however I’ll sleep in the best way for the team”.

More to follow tomorrow…

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