“We have a very important match on Thursday (in the Europa League) and I want to try to rest a little bit, to try to prepare the team the best we can for the Thursday match”.
No player is bigger than the club but it’s not an exaggeration that, without Kante, Chelsea wouldn’t be where they are right now.
Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester City have been confirmed as FA Cup semi-finalists, leaving Chelsea and Manchester United to battle it out for the last remaining berth tonight.
“I know that we need to improve the squad for next season but this season we have a trophy in the box and we are going to fight for every match. I don’t think this can be a tactic”.
The FA Cup is winding down and there’s only one quarterfinal game left – and it’s a doozy! But once they had a player sent off it was easier. They have a lot of good players and we must be pleased to go in the next round and to beat a great opponent.
FatigueChelsea’s hopes of securing a club record 13th successive home win may have been boosted by the contrasting preparations the two teams have had this week.
Mourinho said despite United holding Rostov to a 1-1 away draw, the tie is far from over.
“It’s a very similar pitch to the one in Beijing [United refused to play on in pre-season]”.
Jose Mourinho reproached Conte’s celebratory attitude after his team humiliated the United.
Yet Conte expects Mourinho to play a strong side and brushed aside suggestions that the timing of tonight’s game gives Chelsea an advantage. It was a tough game.
United didn’t arrive back from Monday’s FA Cup defeat at Chelsea until 4am on Tuesday morning and the Portuguese coach has again lamented the way the matches have fallen on his side.
“He’s got the ability to score goals, we’ve seen that”.
But on the touchline, tensions were erupting between Conte and Mourinho.
“We dug in and gave a good account of ourselves”, said Cahill.
He added: “I think he deserves respect”.
“I’m very happy with Paul”.
But Mourinho believes such adversity can bring United – and supporters – closer together.
“If we actually remember what he’s done for our club, and I say our club because I’ve been a Chelsea man since I was 10 and a half, he’s worked miracles there”.