SPURS IN BLUES’ WAY

Po­chet­tino’s men out to deny Chelsea’s dou­ble bid

New Straits Times - - Sport -

AN­TO­NIO Conte’s hopes of a do­mes­tic dou­ble in his first sea­son as Chelsea man­ager faces a for­mi­da­ble ob­sta­cle in the shape of Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in their FA Cup semi-fi­nal af­ter Mon­day’s draw.

Conte — who has trans­formed Chelsea from the mid-ta­ble side they were last term to run­away Premier League lead­ers this cam­paign — will be heart­ened by the fact Spurs’ record at Wem­b­ley is woe­ful.

Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s side won just one of four Euro­pean ‘home’ games played there this sea­son al­though the Ar­gen­tinian’s side did end Chelsea’s 13-match win­ning streak ear­lier this sea­son with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.

The last time Spurs reached this stage, in 2012, they also faced Chelsea and were thrashed 5-1.

“To ar­rive in the semi-fi­nals and play at Wem­b­ley is a good sat­is­fac­tion for us,” said Conte fol­low­ing Mon­day’s 1-0 win in their quar­ter-fi­nal against Manch­ester United.

“It’s an­other strong game against a strong team.

“We start with one win for them and one for us (in the Premier League this sea­son). For sure it will be an ex­cit­ing game for our fans, an in­ter­est­ing game for us, that’s for sure.

“They showed they are able to beat us, but also we showed we are able to beat them.

“Now we will see the re­sult in the semi-fi­nal.”

The other semi-fi­nal pitches Arsene Wenger’s Arse­nal against Manch­ester City, man­aged by Pep Guardi­ola.

The Gun­ners boss is hop­ing the Cup can pro­vide some sal­va­tion in what has been a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son – a re­peat of the last time the two teams met at Wem­b­ley would suit him as Arse­nal ran out 3-0 win­ners in the Com­mu­nity Shield.

City have played the Gun­ners just three times pre­vi­ously in the com­pe­ti­tion with the last meet­ing 46 years ago, when the Lon­don side were 2-1 vic­tors at Maine Road in the fifth round thanks to a brace from Char­lie Ge­orge. AFP

Tot­ten­ham’s Dele Alli scores against Mill­wall in their FA Cup quar­ter-fi­nal match on Sun­day.

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