Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has denied accusations his side have a discipline problem, instead claiming the Blues “need to be more lucky” with refereeing decisions.

David Luiz became the third Chelsea player of the season to receive his marching orders yesterday, following a studs-up challenge on Sead Kolasinac in the Blues’ London derby stalemate with Arsenal. However, the 48-year-old described his charge’s struggles with indiscipline this season as a “strange situation”, suggesting Luiz was “not so lucky” to receive his 87th-minute red card.

“Do you think we are becoming bad? For sure, it’s strange,” Conte continued in his post-match comments. “We work to improve tactical and physical situations. In the end, we’ll try to pay more attention in the future. I hope, also, to be more lucky with the refereeing decisions.”

The Italian claimed that Luiz was targeted by Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez prior to his dismissal, arguing that the game should’ve been stopped earlier as the Chilean appeared to repeatedly pull on the shirt of the 30-year-old defender. “For sure, it was a foul. When a player is fouled in a continual way … But, I repeat, the referee took this decision. If he’d stopped the play before, it wouldn’t matter.”

Despite already being booked, Luiz picked up a straight red for his use of “excessive force” in the challenge, and will now miss the Blues’ next three games.

Header image by Clément Bucco-Lechat (CC BY-SA 3.0)