7 Aug 2017

Chelsea left frustrated after Community Shield loss

6:44 am on 7 August 2017

Reigning English premier league football champions Chelsea were left "frustrated and angry" by refereeing decisions as they lost the Community Shield against Arsenal at Wembley.

Manager Antonio Conte said the game hinged on two big calls which both went against his side in their 4-1 shootout defeat.

The first was referee Robert Madley's decision to book winger Willian for an alleged dive despite replays suggesting he was clipped by Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin with the scores still goalless.

Arsenal have received a pre-season boost with victory in the Community Shield

Arsenal have received a pre-season boost with victory in the Community Shield Photo: Photosport

The second controversy was the straight red card shown to Pedro which led immediately to Arsenal's equalising goal.

"For sure, there is a lot of disappointment to finish for the second time at Wembley with 10 men against Arsenal," a disappointed Conte told reporters.

"First it was the FA Cup and now the Community Shield," he said, in reference to Victor Moses' dismissal last May.

"A lot of people have told me that the penalty was clear so there is frustration but we have to respect the referee's decision. But sometimes their decisions make you angry.

"The referee tried to explain about his decisions but there wasn't time because I wanted to ask him about the penalty but then we'd be here until nine o'clock!

"We must accept though, but for the second time there is a controversial decision against us."

Chelsea gave a debut to record signing Alvaro Morata who came off the bench midway through the second half.

The Spaniard got into some promising positions during his brief cameo but was wasteful with two late half-chances before he dragged his penalty wide.

"Morata needs to work more but it's normal because he has stayed with us for only one week and it's very important to find a good physical condition and understand our idea of football. He needs a bit of time but that is normal.

Chelsea cantered to the title last season, winning 30 games and losing just three, but in recent weeks Conte has stressed that he wants to avoid having another "Mourinho season".

The Italian was referencing Jose Mourinho's Chelsea finishing mid-table in 2015-16 the year after lifting the title.

"For sure we are very disappointed with the performance today," he added.

"We tried to win and improve our physical condition because in six days we have to start the league but now the most important thing is to continue to work and improve the team.

"There are six teams in England and all of them can fight for the title."