Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Antonio Conte blasts Manchester United's aggressive game plan
Chelsea have booked a FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley in April.
''My point of view is this: they've got to play football, and my players want to play football,'' said Conte. ''For 20 or 25 minutes, it was impossible for Eden Hazard to play football. I see only that he got a lot of kicks. But I don't think I'm crazy and I see only him in this situation. Hazard, for 25 minutes, it was impossible for him to play football. Only kicking. He started the game receiving kicks, and he finished receiving kicks. No one person can say this did not happen. Was that United's tactic? I don't know. But this tactic, to play by going to kick the opponent, does not exist. It's not football for me. I don't think this can be a tactic. This is the truth. Everyone saw this. I think sometimes, when you play against players with great talent, you try and intimidate these players. I think the referee must protect this type of player.''
Conte's point was underlined on Monday night as footage emerged of Marcos Rojo stamping on Hazard in the second half.
Ander Herrera was sent off for two fouls on Hazard, while Marcos Rojo later appeared to stamp on the Belgian.