Apologies all round

Antonio Conte has apologised for Cesc Fabregas’ red card in Chelsea’s International Champions Cup victory over Liverpool.. 

The Spaniard was dismissed for a studs up challenge on Liverpool new boy Estonian Klavan in a feisty encounter in California in the early hours of this morning. 

Blues boss Conte said: “I am sorry and the player is too.

“I am sorry for him and the Liverpool player. In this period it is easy to go too late into a tackle.

“I know Fabregas is a good man and a good boy and he is not the type of player to have this situation.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also confirmed after the game that Fabregas had apologised for his tackle on Klavan. 

“Fabregas came in the dressing room and said sorry,” Klopp said. 

“He came too late in the challenge. Sometimes in life if you are too late then you get a red card. That’s how it was.

Fabregas blames ref

Fabregas admitted that he deserved to be sent-off – but insisted that the referee must shoulder some of the blame. 

The Spaniard’s dismissal came during a combative encounter in LA with six players being booked by referee Baldomero Toledo. 

And the ex-Arsenal star admitted that, while he was in the wrong, Toledo’s officiating did not help. 

“The way the ref was giving yellow cards, probably yes it was fair,” Fabregas said.

In the Premier League, probably you could get away with it. I got there late, he got a toe to the ball and then I was anxious to win the ball. It was a hard tackle, so I accept it and move on.

“We want to win every game and everything becomes very competitive. But the ref for them and for us was giving cards all over the place.

Sometimes when you do that as a ref you lose a little feeling of what is happening, because if you give one that is 50-50 or 40-60 then you have to give the next one. It became a bit of a farce. He didn’t have the game under control.”

Narrow win

Though pre-season results are often meaningless, that Chelsea were able to beat Liverpool suggests they are ready to move on from the difficulties of last season. 

The Blues finished tenth in the Premier League last season in a turbulent campaign that begun under Jose Mourinho and finished under Guus Hiddink. 

Gary Cahill scored the only goal of the game in this morning’s feisty clash, giving new boss Conte a second win from three pre-season games.