Antonio Conte admits he saw red over Pedro’s sending off against Arsenal and could have argued long after the Community Shield.
Chelsea went down 4-1 to Arsenal on penalties on Sunday, with Conte suffering another Wembley defeat at the hands of Arsene Wenger – after losing the FA Cup final in May in controversial fashion.
An offside dispute and Victor Moses’ dismissal for diving was the reason for his angst on that occasion, and Conte was once again aggrieved this time around as Pedro was dismissed for a tackle from behind on Mohamed Elneny and referee Bobby Madley ruled Willian had dived instead of awarding the player a penalty.
“For sure, there is disappointment to finish for the second time with 10 men against Arsenal,” Conte said. “Before the FA Cup, and now the Community Shield.
“I did not see the images [for the Pedro red card] and I did not see the yellow card for Willian. A lot of people told me the penalty was clear, so for sure there is a bit of frustration.
“We have to respect the refereeing decision but sometimes this decision makes you a bit angry.”
Conte added: “He [Madley] tried to explain to me about his decision but there was no time because I also wanted to ask him why there wasn’t a penalty and the yellow card for Willian. But then we would have spoken until 9 o’clock.”
Chelsea’s £70m summer signing Alvaro Morata had a competitive debut to forget, squandering an excellent chance to head the Blues in front in stoppage time before putting his penalty wide in the shootout, but Conte defended his new No 9.
“Morata needs to work but it is normal,” Conte said following the game. “He has trained with us for only one week. It is very important to find a good physical condition and understand our idea of football. He needs a bit of time, but it is normal.”
Conte was also quizzed on whether Morata or Michy Batshuayi can offer something that exiled striker Diego Costa cannot.
“I hope in the future to have a different question… ‘if there is a necessity to improve our squad’, about our strikers,” Conte said.
“I replied. My reply is always one, otherwise it means I was telling you a lie.”
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