Chelsea gaffer, Antonio Conte has come to the defence of Victor Moses by insisting the Nigerian international is not a cheat despite his dive in the FA Cup final against Arsenal last Saturday.
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. That effectively reduced the Blues to 10 men in that final they were seeking a second trophy to add to the Premier League this season.
Arsenal went on to win the trophy with a 2-1 victory at Wembley. That face-saving victory is now partly responsible for why talks of a new deal is on the table for French man Arsene Wenger who endured a torrid season with calls from a section of Gunners supporters for his sack.
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 via FourFourTwo.
“I do not know for sure, but there is a lot of attention on this moment. Sometimes I think it could be tiredness,” Conte said.
“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 fourth-minute opener – which was awarded by the referee after the linesman had initially ruled it offside.
Ten-man 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.
Barely 24 hours after that FA Cup final, Moses formally tied the knots with the mother of his two children at a private ceremony in London.
Only his close associates were invited to the private party.