Even though Arsene Wenger was right in his opinion that Arsenal were the dominant team in the latter stages of the Community Shield yesterday, even before the referee decided to show the Chelsea and Spain international forward Pedro a red card for his challenge on Mohamed Elneny, you cannot get away from the fact that the Blues were ahead at that point or that our equalising goal came straight after the sending off, so were Arsenal lucky?
The Chelsea manager certainly seems to think so, with Metro reporting the claims of Antonio Conte after the game about not just the red card but the decision to book Willian for diving earlier in the game and the Italian went on to suggest that the sending off of Moses in our FA cup final win back in May was also controversial, suggesting that we have been helped by the officials.
Conte said, ‘For sure there is disappointment for us to finish for the second time with ten men against Arsenal.
‘First in the FA Cup final, now in the Community Shield. Honestly, I didn’t see images [replays] of the tackle or the yellow card for Willian [but] a lot of people have told me that it was a penalty.
‘For sure there is a bit of frustration but we have to respect the referee’s decision. Sometimes the decision make you a bit angry.
‘He tried to explain to me why he had made this decision but there wasn’t time.
‘I wanted to ask him why there wasn’t a penalty and the yellow card for Willian but we would be speaking until 9 o’clock.
‘We must accept his decisions but for the second time there’s a controversial decision against us.’
I would say that a lot of people were surprised when the man in the middle brandished a red rather than a yellow to Pedro, but in a way that is because you do not often see it in this sort of ‘semi-competitive’ match. However, it was from behind, studs up, late and dangerous, so in that sense the Spaniard can have no complaints.
As for the so-called penalty, I am not having that. If there was a touch from Bellerin it was not enough to knock over a domino never mind a professional athlete, and the dive from Moses in the FA cup final was even more blatant, so maybe Conte needs to work on his players and get them to stop cheating rather than moaning about the consequences.
In a way we were a bit lucky, though, as the Chelsea side lost their focus after the red card and that allowed us to score, but you could also say the same of their goal when Arsenal heads still seemed to be in the dressing room. What do you think, Gooners, were we lucky?