FA charge Chelsea boss Conte with misconduct

Date published: Thursday 30th November 2017 7:02

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been charged with misconduct following his dismissal against Swansea, the Football Association have confirmed.

The Italian was sent to the stands by referee Neil Swarbrick towards the end of the first half of Chelsea’s 1-0 victory after furiously protesting the award of a Swansea goal-kick.

He later apologised to Swarbrick and fourth official Lee Mason but has been charged. He has until 6pm on Tuesday to respond.

It is the first time Conte has been dismissed in English football and he could face a fine or even potentially a touchline ban, although that appears unlikely.

Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas believes the manager’s squad rotation will only benefit Chelsea.

Cesar Azpilicueta was rested in the Premier League for the first time under Conte for the match against Swansea, ending a run of 74 successive league starts since December 2015, while Eden Hazard was relegated to the substitutes’ bench.

With nine games remaining in all competitions this calendar year, Conte is expected to keep altering his line-up, something Spain playmaker Fabregas welcomed.

“We have to cope with the situation. No-one can play every three days even if we want to,” Fabregas told the London Evening Standard.

“If you keep playing, you will keep carrying knocks so it is good to have a break sometimes and come back fresher.

“To know that the team is performing and winning without Eden really being involved is very good.

“We started the season without him and he didn’t start against Swansea because he is the best player (and needed a rest).

“Beating Swansea has kept the momentum going. In this period of the year it is just important to keep getting the three points.”

Conte fielded largely the same side, with two or three options, last season, but this year he has the additional challenge of the Champions League.

The Blues can afford further rotation against Atletico Madrid next Tuesday as they have already qualified from Group C.

Fabregas added: “I think it is important for everyone in the team, especially the manager, to know that he can make a few alterations to the line-up and the team can still perform and get the win.

“It is crucial for him and the team to see that we can trust anyone. In this case it’s a double victory because everyone is hungry to win, to play and to make it difficult for the manager.”

Germany defender Antonio Rudiger scored the decisive goal, heading in after N’Golo Kante’s shot was deflected into his path.

Afterwards Michy Batshuayi, who is currently out with an ankle injury, posted an image on Instagram showing a hole in Rudiger’s left boot and blood seeping through the defender’s sock.

Conte will hope the wound will not prohibit Rudiger from featuring on Saturday, particularly as the full extent of David Luiz’s knee injury is still to be determined.

Conte expressed his hope that Luiz’s absence would be a short one.

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