Monday 18 December 2017

'Moses dive fatigue, not cheating'

Chelsea’s Victor Moses walks off after being sent off Photo: Darren Staple/Reuters
Chelsea’s Victor Moses walks off after being sent off Photo: Darren Staple/Reuters

Miguel Delaney

Antonio Conte has defended Victor Moses after his red card in the FA Cup final against Arsenal and insisted he "didn't want to cheat the referee", claiming that if the wing-back is perceived to have dived, the moment was likely out of fatigue.

Moses was dismissed for a second booking in Chelsea's 2-1 defeat at Wembley, after a fall in the box on 68 minutes that referee Anthony Taylor judged to be simulation.

Conte's side were at that point losing 1-0 and pushing to get back into the game, with Moses having been booked 11 minutes earlier for a foul on the breaking Danny Welbeck, and the manager argued that the pressure of the day was also a factor.

"I don't know for sure, but there is a lot of attention in this moment," Conte said. "Sometimes I think it could be tiredness and I don't think that if my player dived, he did it with the real intention to do this.

"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 I repeat Moses is an honest player and if there was this situation, he was tired and he didn't want to cheat the referee."

Conte said he will take a few days off before beginning Chelsea's planning for the new season. He also stressed how "incredible" the club's "tough" campaign had been.

"This season was very, very tough for many aspects. The best way for me is to take two or three days with my family."

Irish Independent

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