Chelsea boss Antonio Conte targets FA Cup victory

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he hopes to make up for his side’s FA Cup final loss at Wembley last season by lifting the trophy in May.

Conte’s side lost 2-1 in the 2017 FA Cup final to Arsenal and will play Southampton in the 2018 semi-finals after beating Leicester 2-1 on Sunday.

“This trophy is very important for the country,” said the Italian.

“This season our target is to try to reach the final again, and last season it was a pity to lose the final.”Conte, who guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in 2016-17, added: “We are able to reach the final and we want to change the result compared with last season.

“We want to do our best in every competition, to give the best satisfaction to our fans.”

Alvaro Morata gave Chelsea the lead at the King Power Stadium before Jamie Vardy’s equaliser took the tie into extra time, when Pedro headed in a winner.

Manchester United and Tottenham, second and fourth respectively in the Premier League, meet in the other Wembley semi-final with Chelsea taking on a Southampton side who are 18th in the league and have just appointed Mark Hughes to replace the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino.

However, Conte dismissed suggestions that his side had an easy draw.

“When you arrive at this point of the tournament, it’s very difficult to consider it an easy game,” added Conte. “Don’t forget Manchester City were eliminated against Wigan.

“There is a semi-final to play before reaching the final. Every game is very difficult, it will be very difficult against Southampton and we must be ready to fight, to reach the final at Wembley for a second time in a row.”Pedro, whose winning goal was just the second he has scored in 15 appearances, said: “It was good to score for my confidence and to get to the next round.

“It was hard to find the pass in between the lines. Leicester defended very well and pressed high.

“We have a good opportunity to go to the final and fight for a place in the top four [of the Premier League]. But now is the moment to relax and enjoy this win.”

Leicester manager Claude Puel felt his side deserved more, telling BBC Sport: “I’m a bit upset because we deserved another result.

“They found a good clinical edge. I’m proud of my players because it was a game with a high level against a good team.”

BBC Sports