Thibaut Courtois believes Jose Mourinho set up his Manchester United side to kick Chelsea out of the FA Cup last night rather than play football.
It is also understood Mourinho and Chelsea coach Antonio Conte will not be punished for an unseemly clash on the touchline as it was dealt with at the time, fourth official Mike Jones separating the pair and Oliver giving them a stern talking to.
Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois feels that the tactics employed by his former boss were to blame for the game turning ugly, telling Standard Sport: “They tried to get in our mind maybe by fouling and kicking to destabilise us.
“These are the mind games they try to play – they get it from their manager – but we didn’t fall into that trap. They obviously came with a plan, to put Phil Jones and Darmian on Eden and Willian. It was hard to find the space but, after we did, they made a lot of fouls.
“They were very hard. It was the style of Mourinho – and Herrera paid the price for his team-mates because Jones just before had made the fifth foul on Eden. Then 10 seconds later, you make another foul and the ref has to give another yellow card. Unfortunately for Herrera he’d already had a yellow.
“We played our game, we did it our way, like we have for the last six months or so, and we did it well.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t score and finish the game earlier, but it was a good victory, it is good to go to Wembley and now we have ambitions to reach the Final and win it.”
United were without striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic through suspension, plus injured duo Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.
Courtois admits the visitors’ aggressive style of play took Chelsea by surprise.
When asked if they had been prepared by Conte and his staff to play against such tactics, the Belgian replied: “No, we wouldn’t know beforehand. We can expect from playing Manchester United before that they can play their football very well, but obviously without Martial and Ibrahimovic they can play a different game — and that’s what they did. I think they tried to defend well.
“But we have a lot of players with intelligence who can handle it.”
Chelsea now face a Spurs side who are the only club to beat them since Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation in October.
Tottenham won 2-0 at White Hart Lane in January and Courtois admitted: “It’s going to be tough for both of us. We beat them (2-1) in the League at home and they beat us away. They are a tough side.