Conte apologises to officials after being sent off in Chelsea win

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Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte issued an apology to referee Neil Swarbrick and fourth official Lee Mason after he was sent off following an outburst during Wednesday's 1-0 win at home to Swansea City.

Conte cut a frustrated figure when he was dismissed to the stands by Swarbrick approaching half-time at Stamford Bridge.

The 48-year-old Italian furiously protested a failure to award his side a corner when Alfie Mawson deflected a cross behind as he shouted in the face of Mason.

Conte's tension simmered post-match and the Premier League-winning boss told reporters: "After the game, I think it's normal, it's right to apologise for what happened during the game.

"During the game, in the first half, I saw that Swansea were wasting time. I said this a few times to the fourth official. At the same time, I didn't see something change in the first half. I was frustrated for this situation. I tried to tell again, but then the referee took this decision.

"I repeat: I apologise for this. I was frustrated. For sure I made a mistake. During the game I suffer. With my players I suffer. It's a pity.

"They are wasting time. I was a bit animated. I said this and I shout this. It was not the first time. I think for this reason the fourth official lost his patience. But I repeat: the fault was mine, not the fourth official's. I apologise for this. I was frustrated."

Asked where he watched the remainder of the game, Conte - who was initially positioned above the Chelsea dugout - replied: "In the dressing room. Because we have the tactical camera. For this reason I watched the game very well. But I don't like.

"I suffered in the same way also in the changing room. To watch the game on the video and then to not have the possibility to communicate with your players. It's very strange. It's very tough for me."

Chelsea consolidated third position in the table thanks to Antonio Rudiger's goal 10 minutes into the second half, with Conte's men now in the midst of a six-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

"This type of game, you are able to score early, otherwise you must have a lot of patience to try the best way to score," he said. "At the same time, you must pay attention for the counter-attack.

"My feeling now is we are better than before, when we started this season. We started this season with many problems. Now we are trying to solve these problems. I think now we are improving. We are trying another system of play. And I had the possibility to alternate these two systems. These are good options for me."