Conte praises Blues and dismisses reports of possible deduction

Antonio Conte has reacted with disbelief to reports Chelsea could face a points deduction in the wake of angry scenes at Manchester City last week.

Players from both teams were involved in a melee after a challenge by City’s Sergio Aguero on David Luiz.

Aguero was sent off and Fernandinho also red-carded after he then clashed with Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas.

Both clubs have since been charged with the Football Association with failing to control their players – the fifth time in 19 months Chelsea have been hit with such a charge.

Asked after his team’s 1-0 win against West Brom about reports his side could have points deducted, Conte said: “Are you joking?

“If you are involved in a situation that is not your fault and you must pay, why? I don’t understand this.

“You must be honest to understand when there is fault with both teams or one.

“You can see very clearly that my players were trying to keep the calm.”

On a much brighter note for Chelsea, Diego Costa’s 76th-minute goal gave them a ninth consecutive league win and took them back to the top of the table.

West Brom defended superbly before Costa nudged Gareth McAuley off the ball and then fired into the top corner.

“It was a very difficult game but we knew this,” Conte said.

“I spoke a lot this week about this game because we faced a team that is very tough and very difficult to break down.

“I’m pleased because we showed great maturity and great intention to find the right solution to win.

“It wasn’t easy, but the players showed me great character, great attention and great motivation to try to win the game.”