Pat Nevin breaks down Chelsea's "rope-a-dope" win over Tottenham

The Blues beat Tottenham in the FA Cup semi final

Chelsea, Antonio Conte, Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino, FA Cup

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte gestures on the touchline. Adam Davy/PA Archive/PA Images

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has praised Blues boss Antonio Conte for the way in which he managed the 4-2 victory over Tottenham in the FA Cup semi final. 

Chelsea will face Arsenal in the final next month but were involved in a thrilling intense fixture against Spurs to get there.

Conte left Eden Hazard on the bench and also targeted Tottenham's sole weakness (which opposite number Mauricio Pochettino had also identified) according to Nevin who was speaking to Off The Ball.

"You need to look at the opposition and find a weakness. It's a classic Italian thing to do. You look at Spurs and I consistently say this season that they are the best balanced side in the league. They look fantastic. Where are the weaknesses? And I can only see one weakness this season for Spurs," he said.

"And the weakness is behind the two full backs who continue to go forward maybe slightly too quickly. I thought to myself, if you're going to do anything, you're going to have to go and get speed merchants to go into those areas on the break.

"Then I watched Pochettino turn up with three and the back and I thought, 'Yeah, he's figured that out as well'. But it didn't work for Pochettino.

"After three minutes that precise ball was the one that Pedro runs onto and he gets the free kick outside the box. It could have been a yellow card and then if you think of the second goal, it's Moses hammering away from Son who's in that left wing back role. So it was technically and tactically won." 

Nevin also touched on Chelsea's substitutions as a key turning point and compared the approach to the rope-a-dope technique used by boxing legend Muhammad Ali in absorbing punishment from George Foreman before taking charge late on.