Antonio Conte has hailed Olivier Giroud's impact after arriving at Chelsea from Arsenal in January, but insisted the French striker has not superseded club-record signing Alvaro Morata after both players scored in the FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton.
Giroud was bought to help fill the void left by the departure of Diego Costa for Atletico Madrid, and started ahead of Morata in the last-four clash with the Saints at Wembley on Sunday.
The former Montpellier frontman gave Chelsea the lead in the 46th minute and substitute Morata made sure of the Blues' place in the final by doubling their advantage just two minutes after coming on.
Conte acknowledged the importance of acquiring a player with Giroud's skillset to implement his preferred tactics.
"I think, for sure, it has been a good signing for us," the Italian said.
"As you know very well, I needed a player with this characteristic; strong physically, to hold the ball up and allow our number 10 to make combinations with him.
"Morata is an important striker. I think he's younger than Olivier. He has less experience. He is less strong physically but, at the same time, is very fast to act on the space.
"I'm pleased for both… because in the last game against Burnley we started the game with both players and they showed a great link-up.
"I'm very pleased to see that, because I have another option now. Another card in my hand during the game.
"Today I decided to start with Olivier because I knew we had to play against the three central defenders, very strong physically, so I decided to start with Olivier.
"But when Morata came on, the impact was impressive. In the same way as Pedro's impact, which was important. And also [Tiemoue] Bakayoko."
While Chelsea have reached an FA Cup final against Manchester United, they are a distant fifth in the Premier League table, having failed to mount an effective defence of their title.
And Conte, who has regularly hinted at his dissatisfaction with Chelsea's off-season recruitment, offered a cautious assessment of the team's efforts this term.
"I think that… we are working very hard with the staff, with the players," he said.
"As you know very well, it's not simple to play in this league because I think this is the only league where six teams fight to win the title and find a place in the Champions League. Not simple.
"It will be more difficult year by year. You must know this.
"If you do know this, you must prepare a season in a strong way.
"You have to know you must be competitive if you want to play for the title, if you want to play for something important."
14 de agosto 2018
|Predators sign Ryan Ellis to eight-year, $50M contract|
|Curran, Woakes, Rashid - who makes way for Stokes in England´s Test XI?|
|Griezmann well positioned for Ballon d´Or, says Simeone|
|Criscito: I was on Genoa bridge shortly before collapse|
|Alonso to leave F1: How the Spaniard´s numbers stack up to the greats|
|Rookie LB Roquan Smith finally signs Bears contract|
|De Villiers enjoying relief from ´unbearable´ Proteas pressure|
|Fernando Alonso to leave F1|
|Spalletti extends Inter contract|
|Godin, Koke, Griezmann and Juanfran named Atletico Madrid captains|
|Ronaldo out of hospital after illness|
|Fury: Beating Wilder and Joshua ´very easy´|
|Dickinson retires to take up academy coaching role|
|Cricket the ´sole focus´ for Stokes as he returns to England squad|
|Cheryshev moves to Valencia on loan|
|Mandzukic retires from Croatia duty after World Cup|
|Ben Stokes found not guilty of affray|
|Tottenham issue new stadium update and apology to fans|
|Chelsea flop Bakayoko moves to AC Milan on loan|
|Gabi urges Al Sadd team-mate Xavi to play on|
|Ronaldo leads UEFA Goal of the Season nominees|
|Federer: Djokovic could be caught up in US Open pressure|
|Ronaldo to Juventus a huge boost for Serie A – Matthaus|
|Werner would welcome Ozil Germany return|
|´Perfectionist´ Serena admits to ´unrealistic´ expectations in tennis and motherhood|
|Klopp praises Deschamps and his ´boring´ France|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Bale or Griezmann - Who will step into Ronaldo´s breach as Messi´s main rival?|
|Woods winning 15th major would be greatest comeback in sport – Faldo|
|Retiring Storm great Hoffman not giving up on Finals dream|
|Folau won´t change aerial approach in All Blacks showdown|
|Racism behind Sterling criticism, says ex-Arsenal star Wright|
|Eto´o joins Qatar SC following Ligue 1 links|
|UEFA Super Cup 2018-19: Atletico academy eclipsing Madrid, La Masia|
|UEFA Super Cup 2018-19: Should Real Madrid cash in on Modric?|
|Scintillating Serena sends warning, Azarenka survives opener|
|DeGrom strikes out 12, Mets hit 5 homers in win over Yankees|
|Djokovic needs nine MPs as Murray crashes out|
|Murray unsure of US Open readiness after Cincinnati exit|
|Van Dijk: Alisson making difference at Liverpool|
|Johnson saves eight MPs but Djokovic prevails|
|Federer anxious ahead of Cincinnati comeback|
|Tevez relishing Messi reunion|
|Ronaldo arrival has taken Juve forward in Europe – Nedved|
|Serena steamrolls Gavrilova in Cincinnati return|
|Packers QB Rodgers doesn´t regret criticising team-mates|
|Indians OF Martin recovering from life-threatening bacterial infection|
|Shoulder injury sends Royals starter Duffy to DL|
|Yankees place Sabathia on DL with right knee inflammation|
|Aubameyang urges Emery to capitalise on his ´spark´ with Lacazette|
13 de agosto 2018
|Anderson can play until he´s 40, says Bayliss|
|Keita living childhood dream after securing Inter switch|
|49ers to sign veteran RB Alfred Morris, Kyle Shanahan says|
|Arnaiz leaves Barcelona for Leganes in €5m deal|
|Tottenham´s move to new stadium delayed|
|Roosters-bound Hall suffers ACL injury|
|Murray suffers Cincinnati defeat to Pouille|
|No Cech mate - Arsenal goalkeeper hits back at Bayer Leverkusen|
|Halep first to seal WTA Finals spot|
|Veteran Carmelo Anthony pens one-year Rockets deal|
|Runners and Ryders: Poulter closes in on Team Europe spot|
|Gameiro presented by Valencia after departing Atletico Madrid|
|World Cup winner Kimpembe extends PSG contract to 2023|
|AC Milan send Locatelli on loan to Sassuolo|
|South Africa´s Etzebeth set for return from injury|
|Rafinha ´very likely´ to stay at Barcelona|
|No dual Ryder Cup role should Woods make USA team, says Furyk|
|Inter complete Keita deal|
|David Silva announces retirement from international football|
|Modric in Real Madrid´s UEFA Super Cup squad amid Inter links|
|Neville hopes Shaw is on to something special after first United goal|