Cahill cries Blue murder over 'incredible' decision
Gary Cahill received the backing of his head coach yesterday, but the Chelsea centre-half could not hide the fact he is now a man under pressure.
A late ankle injury to captain John Terry, who left Swansea City's Liberty Stadium on crutches, may yet earn Cahill a reprieve for Friday night's game against Liverpool, but the England man clearly felt the need to defend himself with David Luiz waiting to make his second Blues debut.
Just over an hour after the 2-2 draw, Cahill posted a video on Twitter that appeared to show Swansea's Leroy Fer kick his heel twice before taking the ball to score the home side's second goal.
There was a second message that simply said "incredible", followed by nine angry-face emojis, and Cahill said: "It's a clear foul. I'm frustrated. Come on, seriously! You could be sat on the moon and see it is a clear foul. I took the touch away from him, he came through the back of me. It was clear as day and seeing it back has made me even more angry.
"It's all fun and games for the fans, but it's the players who suffer. That kills me and kills my team. We have dropped two points which is massive in this league.
"Look at my face! It's incredible. I said to the referee there's three of you that can see that. There were two fouls, and between the officials they have said that they couldn't see it. For me that is incredible."
The fact Cahill pointed out it is "the players who suffer" would suggest he now knows his place is under threat after the re-signing of Luiz, even though he received the backing of Conte.
Despite being careful not to criticise Andre Marriner, Conte was unequivocal that Fer's goal should not have stood.
"For the second goal, I think everyone can see the double foul on Cahill," said Conte. "I think there is a great mistake, a great mistake of the referee. But I also want to say this can happen, to one side or the other. I don't want to complain about this. But that is the reality."
Cahill returned from England duty last week to find that Conte was having a very careful look at Luiz next to Terry in training.
The prospect of becoming the 'other man' in Chelsea's defensive partnership will be all-too familiar to Cahill, who became frustrated at the frequency at which Terry and Luiz played instead of him during the Brazilian's first spell at the club.
Conte stood scratching his head in his technical area after Fer had given Swansea the lead and Cahill will have been hugely relieved that Costa did at least rescue a point with his second goal of the game.
Terry's injury may also be a boost to Cahill's hopes of keeping his place for the visit of Liverpool. While Cahill may be feeling like a marked man in terms of his first-team place, Conte believes Costa has become a target. Costa fought running battles with central defenders Jordi Amat and Federico Fernández.
Both men received yellow cards and, asked if they could have seen red, Conte said: "Yes, yes, but if you ask me if the defenders deserved a second yellow card, I don't want to reply on this. I want to say, only, that in every game, after the game, the press ask me about the passion of Diego Costa. Today, I can say that Diego Costa had a fantastic behaviour to control the situation. He took a lot of kicks from the first minute until the end of the game. I'm pleased because he showed everyone that he has fantastic behaviour.
"I think that the defenders know him and, sometimes, try to provoke him. The referee must see and allow Diego Costa to play his football."