Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has claimed that the FA Cup will be harder to win this year and admits that the Blues missed out on a golden opportunity to claim the trophy last season.
Chelsea were beaten by Arsenal in the 2017 final at Wembley Stadium and Conte is adamant that his side – which had recently been crowned Premier League champions – should have triumphed.
Nonetheless, Chelsea could reach their second successive final on Sunday if they beat top-flight strugglers Southampton, with the winner facing Manchester United on May 19.
“Last season we missed a great chance to win the FA Cup and we could have done better,” Conte, speaking ahead of United’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, told Sky Sports News.
“If we can win against Southampton and reach the final then I think it will be more difficult against Tottenham or Manchester United.
“Last season we were in the best condition to win the FA Cup but we missed that chance and it was our fault. At that moment we were stronger than them. This season it will be more difficult.
“I remember that some refereeing decisions weren’t good because the first goal they scored was handball for Alexis Sanchez.
“We finished the game with 10 men and because of this we conceded the goal at the last. Arsenal did a great job to win the FA Cup.”