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 - and I repeat - 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 as quoted in the Independent
Conte said he will take a few days off before beginning Chelsea’s planning for the new season, ahead of what is set to be a busy summer in which the Blues are expected to make up to six new signings. He also stressed how “incredible” the club’s “tough” campaign had been, despite ending with disappointment.