Antonio Conte has ordered his players not to dive to try and win penalties.
Chelsea were down to 9 men AET when Pedro was booked for a blatant dive midway through the second half which went on to lead to a sending off with another yellow card later on in the game. Alvaro Morata was then the other man sent off for both ‘diving’ and questioning the referee’s decision.
The Italian has admitted he wasn’t happy about Morata’s sending off.
Conte was asked by the press why his players dived, and this was his response:
“I don’t know, but I don’t want an advantage.
“About Pedro, if there is a dive, it’s right to take a yellow card. It’s the same for Morata. I don’t want an advantage, especially if you know this system [VAR] is being used.
“You can watch every situation with this technology. If someone gives a punch or an elbow, you must pay great attention. In this case, if it wasn’t a penalty, it was right to give a yellow card.”
Conte was then questioned if he was angry at Pedro and Morata, he then said:
“For sure, I’m not happy for the second yellow card for Morata.
“The first yellow card was for a doubtful situation – I didn’t watch Morata’s situation yet – but the second was for dissent.
“You must pay great attention. In this moment of the game, you have to pay great attention to stay calm and make the best decision.”
Both red cards for Pedro and Morata mean that they will miss Saturday’s early kick off away at Brighton. Morata’s absence could also prolong Michy Batshuayi’s stay at Chelsea, and potentially offer him more of a chance for a first team spot.
Take nothing away from Norwich City, a championship side that helt a Premier League side away from home, all the way to penalties. The controversial decisions and talk of VAR throughout the game has got in the way of praising the Canaries.