Antonio Conte fired yet another SOS to the Chelsea board for new signings after his side were sunk on penalties by Arsenal .
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The defending Premier League champions are set to make a £60million move for Southampton rebel Virgil van Dijk to ease Conte’s frustrations. But the Italian insisted more is needed after Olivier Giroud’s winner on penalties. Referring to questions about needing to strengthen his squad, he said: “I have replied to this question [about new players]. I hope in the future to have a different question.
“My reply is always the same, otherwise it means I was telling you a lie.”
Conte has spoken about his fears of starting the season without major reinforcements. The champions missed out on signing Romelu Lukaku while Alex Sandro look set to stay at Juventus. Nemanja Matic has been sold to Manchester United while Diego Costa has been told he has no future at the club.
Victor Moses put Chelsea ahead a minute after half time but Arsenal new boy Sead Kolasinac headed the equaliser with eight minutes left. Giroud struck the decisive spot-kick after misses from Thibaut Courtois and new Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata.
Conte also saw Pedro sent off for a foul on Mohamed Elneny. Willian, however, was booked for simulation after appearing to be caught by Hector Bellerin during the first half.
Conte, who also had Victor Moses sent off in Chelsea’s FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal added: “For sure there is disappointment to finish for the second time with 10 men against Arsenal. “I didn’t see the images. I didn’t see also the yellow card for Willian.
“A lot of people told me the penalty was clear. For sure there is a bit of frustration, but you know very well we have to respect referees decisions. But sometimes these decisions make you a bit angry.”
Wenger praised Kolasinac, 32nd-minute substitute after Per Mertesacker was forced off with a head injury. The Gunners boss said: “He came on well, normally a wing-back, full-back, but he can as well play at centre-back.
“Had a very interesting performance last week, I had an hesitation to play him from the start on. I thought Wembley, the pressure, but when he came on I thought he was outstanding.”
“Per had a cut on his forehead, but its nothing bad. He was just bleeding and open, but it’s not bad.
“The win is an encouragement, not more than that. We want to find a good balance between the confidence we can get out of this game and the urgency that every Premier League game demands.”
Chelsea start their campaign of defending the league title against Burnley. They will be without Moses.