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.
â€œHonestly, I did not see the situation,â€ the Italian said via FourFourTwo.
â€œI do not know for sure, but there is a lot of attention on this moment. Sometimes I think it could be tiredness,â€ Conte said.
â€œWe 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.
â€œMoses is an honest player and if there was this situation he was tired and he did not want to cheat the referee,â€ 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.