Football

Furious Conte blames referee for Community Shield loss

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was "angry" after Sunday's Community Shield loss to Arsenal at Wembley.

Arsenal won the season-opener 4-1 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 in 90 minutes, with substitute Sead Kolasinac cancelling out Victor Moses' opener for Chelsea.

Conte was denied a double in his first season as Chelsea boss after Arsene Wenger's Gunners won May's FA Cup final in controversial fashion.

An offside dispute and Moses' dismissal for diving was the reason for his angst on that occasion and, on Sunday, Conte felt aggrieved once again.

The Premier League champions had Pedro Rodriguez dismissed for a tackle-from-behind on Mohamed Elneny and referee Bobby Madley also ruled Willian had dived instead of awarding the player a penalty.

"There is disappointment to finish for the second time with 10 men against Arsenal," said the Italian, whose side begin their Premier League title defence against Burnley on Saturday.

"You know very well we have to respect referees' decisions.

"But sometimes these decisions make you a bit angry."

Conte, who has spoken of the need for Chelsea to add players to the squad, issued a terse response when asked about the importance of Charly Musonda, who came off the substitutes' bench after being a perennial loanee in recent seasons.

Conte said: "Now in this moment, all my players in my squad are important."

He declined to answer when asked if his squad were ready to challenge in all four competitions this season.

Conte was then asked what strikers Michy Batshuayi and Alvaro Morata can offer that exiled striker Diego Costa cannot.

He said: "I hope in the future to have a different question... 'if there is necessity to improve our squad', about our strikers."

An English football first also took place at Wembley as the "ABBA" penalty shoot-out system was deployed.

Based on the format used in tennis tie-breaks, the team to take the first spot-kick will leave the opponents to take the second and third kicks, before they resume taking the fourth and fifth attempts, and so on.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois took Chelsea's second kick, seeking to equalise, and blasted over before Morata fired wide.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then scored and Olivier Giroud netted the decisive goal.

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was critical of the system, and said: "I liked the format that we already had. It was very exciting...

"It (the new system) does change the advantage, if you like.

"If you miss that first penalty - which is the advantage if you score it - and the other team score their first two, then 2-0 is a big advantage to the second team." - WIRE SERVICES

eplCHELSEA (EPL)Antonio Conte