Following a difficult weekend for Chelsea Football Club as a whole, manager Antonio Conte has today come out in defence of one of his players, following a post-FA Cup Final backlash.
In the firing line
In the aftermath of the Blues’ disappointing defeat at the hands of an under-strength Arsenal side at Wembley, Nigerian wing-back Victor Moses was singled out for particular criticism by fans of the Stamford Bridge club, after the former Stoke man’s second yellow for a dive in the second half dealt Chelsea a huge blow in their attempts to come back from a goal down.
Though Conte’s side did restore parity momentarily following the dismissal of Moses, Arsenal made their man advantage count, with Aaron Ramsey’s immediate response putting the Gunners back in front on the evening.
Arsene Wenger’s side should realistically have notched a couple more, but the one goal proved enough in the end.
Boss bites back
Though the anger of Chelsea’s fans towards their defender was justified in that Moses’ blatant dive was fully deserving of a second yellow, Italian tactician Conte has taken the time to defend his surprise star of the season, suggesting that fatigue may have played a significant role in the actions of Moses.
‘Honestly, I did not see the situation. I do not know for sure, but there is a lot of attention on this moment. Sometimes I think it could be tiredness.’
‘We are at the end of the season and a lot of players are tired and then there is a lot of pressure. For sure, it is not a good situation to dive, it is true.’
‘But Moses is an honest player and, if there was this situation, he was tired and he did not want to cheat the referee.’