CONTE DE­FENDS MOSES

Chelsea boss in­sists Vic­tor ‘an hon­est player’ de­spite his dive in the FA Cup fi­nal

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CHELSEA man­ager An­to­nio Conte has come to the de­fence of Vic­tor Moses by in­sist­ing the Nige­rian is not a cheat de­spite his dive in the FA Cup fi­nal.

Moses was sent off for a sec­ond book­able of­fence in the 68th minute af­ter he went down in the Arse­nal penalty area un­der the mere sug­ges­tion of con­tact from Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain.

Ref­eree An­thony Tay­lor, hav­ing al­ready booked Moses for a tug on Danny Wel­beck, was in a good po­si­tion to spot the dive and is­sued a sec­ond yel­low card for sim­u­la­tion.

Chelsea went on to lose the FA Cup fi­nal as Arse­nal de­nied the English Premier League cham­pi­ons a dou­ble with a 2-1 vic­tory at Wem­b­ley.

But Conte re­fused to hang Moses out to dry and hinted that the 26-year-old could have gone to ground due to tired­ness rather than with the in­ten­tion to cheat the ref­eree.

“Hon­estly, I did not see the sit­u­a­tion,” the Ital­ian said. “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.”

Though Conte did ad­mit his player went to ground with­out con­tact, he in­sisted that Moses would not have tried to deceive Tay­lor.

“Moses is an hon­est player and if there was this sit­u­a­tion he was tired and he did not want to cheat the ref­eree,” Conte added.

Arse­nal were win­ning 1-0 at the time of Moses’s dis­missal thanks to Alexis Sanchez's fourth­minute opener — which was awarded by the ref­eree af­ter the lines­man had ini­tially ruled it off­side.

Chelsea equalised against the run of play through Diego Costa but Aaron Ram­sey headed home less than three min­utes later to hand Arsene Wenger his sev­enth FA Cup — the most of any man­ager in the com­pe­ti­tion’s his­tory. Daily Mail

REUTERS PIC

Chelsea’s Diego Costa (left) and Arse­nal’s Per Merte­sacker tus­sle for the ball at Wem­b­ley on Satur­day.

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