Chelsea's Antonio Conte apologised to referee, fourth official after sending off

LONDON -- Antonio Conte revealed he apologised to referee Neil Swarbrick and fourth official Lee Mason for the outburst that saw him sent from the touchline during Chelsea's 1-0 win over Swansea City at Stamford Bridge.

Mason was on the receiving end of several heated Conte complaints in the first half due to what the Italian perceived as Swansea City time-wasting, and shortly before the break he summoned Swarbrick to dismiss the Chelsea head coach.

Conte revealed that he watched the second half on a "tactical camera" in the dressing room as Antonio Rudiger's 55th-minute header proved the difference between the two teams, and did not attempt to justify his actions in his press conference.

"I think it's normal, it's right to apologise for what happened during the game," Conte said. "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 [him] 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.

"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 were dominant for much of the game against the worst attacking team in the Premier League, but their own wastefulness in front of goal compelled Conte to introduce Eden Hazard, rested from the starting XI, in the 80th minute and ensured an anxious finish.

"In this type of game, you [hope you] are able to score early, otherwise you must have a lot of patience to try the best way to score," Conte added. "At the same time, you must pay attention for the counter-attack. In this type of game, you have a lot of desire to win, and then you want to try to attack with all the players and sometimes you lose your balance.

"My players never lost their balance, they played an intelligent game, good win. We must be very good also to win this type of game."

Asked if he lost his temper again when he found out that Manchester City had beaten Southampton courtesy of Raheem Sterling's 96th-minute winner, Conte laughed and replied: "Sterling is very dangerous. I have great respect for a team that don't give up until the end. That is the reality. If they're able to win many games at the end of games it means they don't give up, they trust until the end.

"I think Manchester City is doing something incredible. When you do this type of situation you must be a bit lucky. It's normal when you have this type of result.

"But for us it's important to look at ourselves, to go game by game. I think we're improving from the start of the season. We have good balance. We created many chances, but we didn't take them."

Conte also provided an update on the fitness of David Luiz, who missed the Swansea game with a knee injury.

"Now it's very difficult [to say how long he will be out], because he had liquid in his knee," Conte admitted.

"We have to assess his recovery, the time. But I hope to not lose him for a lot of time, also because we have to play every three days and I need all my players."