x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Antonio Conte wants Chelsea's season to end on a high with FA Cup success

Italian targets lifting the trophy in May after his side won in extra time against Leicester City on Sunday to reach semi-finals and a tie with struggling Southampton.

Victor Moses, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro of Chelsea celebrate their side's FA Cup win over Leicester City to reach the semi-finals. Michael Regan / Getty Images
Victor Moses, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro of Chelsea celebrate their side's FA Cup win over Leicester City to reach the semi-finals. Michael Regan / Getty Images

Antonio Conte targeted FA Cup glory after his Chelsea side dug deep to beat Leicester 2-1 after extra-time on Sunday.

The London side will play Southampton in next month's semi-final after substitute Pedro netted the decisive goal.

Chelsea won the Premier League last term, but were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup final to deny Conte the double in his first season in charge.

He refuses to underestimate Southampton, but is keen to lift a trophy which proved elusive last season.

"Every game is very difficult, it will be very difficult against Southampton," Conte said.

"Last season it was a pity to lose the final, (not) to celebrate the double with the players.

"This season our target is to try to reach the final again. We want to change the final result."

Striker Alvaro Morata ended a 13-game scoreless streak with his first since Boxing Day before Jamie Vardy equalised in the second half to force extra-time.

And Conte praised the character of his players, and Morata, at the end of a week which saw the Blues eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona.

______________

Read more

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: 'If you want to improve, you have to buy great players'

Exclusive: Vincent Kompany on the 'incredible' evolution of Manchester City with Abu Dhabi's backing

Jose Mourinho criticises 'lack of personality' from Man United players despite FA Cup victory

______________

"We must be pleased for the character we showed in this game against a really good team," Conte added. "After a game in the Champions League it wasn't easy for us to play 120 minutes in this way.

"We fought a lot against Leicester. We showed great desire, great will. For Alvaro it was very important to score. I'm very pleased with his performance.

"He played a very good game, he showed great character, he showed to be stronger. I think this goal will be very important for the future for us."

Leicester manager Claude Puel felt his side deserved more.

Leicester complained at the end to referee Craig Pawson, apparently upset at perceived time-wasting by Chelsea and the lack of additional time.

Puel said: "It's a big disappointment. We played very well against a good team. It's harsh for my squad because they gave their best."

Pedro out-jumped Ben Chilwell and Marc Albrighton to score a goal goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel might have prevented had he not come off his line.

"We cannot blame Kasper for the second goal. He's been fantastic since the beginning, and made fantastic saves in the game," Puel added.