Furious Conte slams Mourinho
Clearly riled up, the Chelsea head coach called the Manchester United boss a "little man" and "fake" before issuing an apparent challenge in response to Mourinho referencing match-fixing allegations on Friday. "The situation is very clear. I don't have anything to clarify," Conte said after yesterday's game. "It will be the opportunity in the game against United when we go to Old Trafford (on February 25). Me and him face to face. I'm ready. I don't know if he's ready." Conte had been accused of failing to report his knowledge of an incident of attempted match-fixing during his time as Siena boss in 2011 and he duly served a four-month touchline ban in 2012. He was acquitted of any wrongdoing in 2016, shortly before taking over at Chelsea and Mourinho's revisiting of the matter irked the Blues boss. "I consider him a little man, I consider him a man with a very low profile," Conte added. "When there are these types of comments, before (making them) you have to know very well the truth." If only events at Carrow Road had moved at that kind of speed: Chelsea barely created a clear chance to speak of against a brighter Norwich side that, although toothless, fully merited their replay. The fixtures continue to mount up and so, surely, will Conte's frustration that his squad simply lacks the depth to compete capably on all fronts. David Luiz's return from a six-week injury absence was the most notable of nine changes made by Conte from the rollercoaster ride at Arsenal. Essentially the Chelsea manager rotated in a number of his less-used senior squad members; the bench, though, was a different matter and alongside Álvaro Morata sat six players with barely 10 appearances between them. If the visitors could be forgiven for having other priorities, the same could hardly be said for Norwich, who lie nine points and seven places shy of the Championship play-off spots. Their coach, Daniel Farke, had pronounced himself a "deep believer in cup competitions" though and kept alterations to a minimum, the main interest being the lack of an out-and-out striker in a fluid front three. One of them, James Maddison, had a shot blocked within four minutes as Norwich fizzed with intent. Josh Murphy had a go at Antonio Rüdiger down the left and Alex Pritchard, a playmaker of similarly deft touch to the vaunted Maddison, served notice that he would not be limited to a perch on the opposite flank.