Conte praises youngsters after Chelsea’s cup win

Antonio Conte was delighted to see Kurt Zouma return to first-team action in Chelsea’s FA Cup win against Peterborough.

Defender Zouma, who suffered cruciate damage last February, started alongside recalled skipper John Terry, who was sent off midway through the second half of the 4-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Blues boss Conte also praised youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah – they were involved in some of Chelsea’s best moments – and Ola Aina, who came on as a substitute.

And Michy Batshuayi, making a rare start, scored the second goal in a resounding win for Conte’s team.

Conte said: “Today we changed nine players because I thought in this game I could give opportunities to see some players who in this period did not play, and I saw a lot of positive things.

“Zouma came back after 11 months and played for the 90 minutes. It is fantastic for him, his family and for the club.

“The young players showed me they are growing; Chalobah, Ruben and Ola also. And Michy played a good game and scored a good goal.”

Conte refused to comment on reports he is ready to send Batshuayi to Swansea on loan as part of a deal to sign Fernando Llorente from the Welsh club.

Striker Llorente, 31, played under the Italian at Juventus and has been linked with a move to the Bridge.

Conte, who has previously insisted that Batshuayi will not be loaned out, continued his policy of refusing to comment on transfer targets.

He said: “I repeat always in the same way. In this period, I don’t like to talk about players of the other teams. This would not be respect for players or the teams.”

But Conte did reveal that Chelsea are considering appealing against Terry’s sending-off.