Antonio Conte’s players were celebrating today after they booked their place in the FA Cup final with an astonishing 4-2 win over London rivals and Premier League title challengers, however, the Italian was far more concerned over what is to come.
The Blues face Southampton next in a Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, while second-placed Spurs are able to rest until Wednesday when they face a resurgent Crystal Palace, who do not play until tomorrow.
Speaking after the game, Conte was clearly frustrated and struggled to understand the thinking behind the scheduling.
“When you arrive in this part of the season you know that you have to play three tough games,” said the former Juventus manager.
“One in semi-final to reach final of FA Cup, a top game, this was our top priority, but then you know you have to play on Tuesday after just three days against a team that rest ten days and instead Tottenham has one day more to rest and play Crystal Palace.”
The Blues boss revealed that the club tried to have the fixture against Claude Puel’s side moved, but there was no budging from the authorities.
“Yeah [we did ask to have it moved] but in this situation it is not easy to understand why because we play one day less than Tottenham,” he added.
“You [schedulers] have to try and put teams in same position to fight but we have to accept this decision and have to give the best answer on the pitch.”
With six games left to go in the title race, Chelsea remain four clear of today’s opponents, with what would appear a much kinder run-in.