Chelsea manager Antonio Conte hails his side’s collective effort as the Blues beat Peterborough United 4-1 to advance to the 4th round of the FA Cup.
Antonio Conte made nine changes to his side but Chelsea were back to being their imperious best, as they returned to winning ways to thump League One outfit 4-1 at Stamford Bridge in their 3rd round FA Cup encounter on Sunday evening.
Conte’s men were ruthless all through the match, and the first half in particular saw Chelsea take 20 shots at their opponent’s goal. And after seeing Asmir Begovic save them the blushes with his save from Lee Angol’s header early on, the Blues took a well deserved lead in the 18th minute.
Pedro received the ball after Peterborough goalkeeper Luke McGee saved Nathaniel Chalobah’s long range effort, and turned an opposition defender before curling the ball past the keeper. Chelsea dominated the proceedings thereafter, and doubled the lead as Michy Batshuayi drilled in from close range in the 43rd minute.
Chelsea resumed the second half just as brightly as they ended the first, and Willian got his side’s third goal as he struck from 18 yards out, just seven minutes post the restart. Chelsea were, however, brought down to ten men, as John Terry was sent off for bringing down Angol with just Begovic behind him.
The numerical advantage worked in Peterborough’s favour almost immediately as Tom Nichols pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 70th minute. But, Pedro put the game to bed five minutes later as curled another goal, this time from the edge of the box, to round off a resounding win for the Blues.
After the match, Conte was visibly buzzing, and the Italian manager was all praises for his side in his post-match press conference. The Chelsea boss said, “I am pleased with our performance and the result. Today we changed nine players because I had the opportunity to see some players who haven’t played a lot.
“We faced a good team but we showed great commitment and showed we were a team. Zouma came back after 11 months and played 90 minutes, which is fantastic for him, his family and the club. The young players – Chalobah, Ruben and Aina – showed me they are growing. Michy played a good game and scored a goal, so there were a lot of positives.”
Conte also expressed support for club captain Terry, who was making his first start since October, and Conte insisted that the former England skipper was unfairly sent off when he didn’t even touch Angol.
He added, “I think the decision wasn’t right. Firstly, he didn’t take the opponent and secondly behind John was Ivanovic to cover. It’s a pity when this happens. When you get a red card it’s not good, you have to respect the referee’s decision, but in this case maybe we will appeal because the situation is very clear, John didn’t deserve this.”
Chelsea now turn their attention back to the Premier League, as they visit champions Leicester City on Saturday, January 14 looking to maintain or extend their lead at the top of the table.