Antonio Conte feared for Eden Hazard in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Man Utd
Last Updated: 14/03/17 8:31am
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte feared Eden Hazard would be seriously injured during a fiery 1-0 FA Cup win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
N'Golo Kante scored the only goal after Ander Herrera was sent off for two bookable offences for fouls on Hazard.
In what was a physical encounter, Hazard in particular came in for punishment and Conte called for the Belgium international to receive protection from officials - a call Jose Mourinho has made previously, when he was Chelsea manager.
"For Hazard, (for) 20, 25 minutes it was impossible to play football, because he received only kicks," Conte said in his post-match press conference.
"A tactic to play and go to kick an opponent? It's not football for me. I don't think that I'm crazy and I see only him in this situation.
"Sometimes when you play against players with great talent, you try to intimidate those players.
"The referee must protect these type of players. When they go out with a bad injury...
"It's very dangerous to receive a kick from the back."
At one point, Conte and Mourinho had to be separated by fourth official Mike Jones as the Italian took exception to United's heavy challenges.
"What happened on the outside for me is only (a) circus," Conte added. "The coaches are not important."
However, Conte did praise the fourth official, saying: "He was very good to manage this situation, but for sure it's normal when you play this type of game."
Conte and Mourinho did eventually shake hands in the tunnel after the final whistle, as Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals where they will face Tottenham at Wembley.
Chelsea beat Tottenham in December, but Spurs ended their 13-match Premier League winning streak at White Hart Lane on January 4.
"We start with one win for us and one win for them," Conte said. "For sure it'll be an interesting game, very strong for both teams."