Conte throws a bone to the underdogs


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte complemented FA Cup opposition Wolverhampton Wanderers after their 2-0 win on Saturday.

Goals from Pedro and Diego Costa in the second half at Molineux saw the Blues avoid a slip-up in the fifth round and put their name in the draw for the quarter-finals.

"This challenge was very tough, but we all knew," Conte said. "Wolverhampton started the game very well with great intensity.

"[Former Chelsea youngster George Saville] hit the post after five minutes and we were lucky.

“In the second half we played our football, we played very well. We scored two goals. Wolverhampton deserve my compliments for the performance.

"It's important to understand nothing is easy. If someone thinks in the league Chelsea for sure become the champions and in the FA Cup for sure you can win this trophy… it'll be very difficult.”

The Italian is aware that the smaller teams are often capable of surprising results in the competition and used the 1-0 defeat suffered by fellow top-flight side Burnley as an example, after the Clarets were knocked out by fifth-tier National League side Lincoln City earlier on Saturday.

"This is a great achievement for them and also this is the beauty of football and the FA Cup," Conte added. “Now we are with Lincoln in the quarter-final. It's fantastic."