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Friday 2 December 2016

Fabregas 'sorry' for red

Fabregas' challenge on new Liverpool recruit Klavan. Photo: Reuters
Fabregas' challenge on new Liverpool recruit Klavan. Photo: Reuters

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas has apologised to Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan for the studs-up challenge which saw the midfielder sent off in their International Champions Cup clash in Pasadena.

The Spain international slid in and caught the new signing on the top of his foot in the second half of the Blues' 1-0 win and the referee Baldomero Toledo immediately brandished a red card.

However, Fabregas sought out the Estonia international afterwards to offer his apologies.

"It's a red card. He (Fabregas) came by us in the dressing room and said sorry," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told his post-match press conference.

"He came too late in the challenge, of course. Sometimes in life if you are too late you get a red card, especially in football."

Klopp has concerns over another new signing, Marko Grujic, after the midfielder was taken to hospital with suspected concussion after a collision with Bertrand Traore towards the end of the first half.

"The biggest problem for me in this moment is that Marko Grujic is in hospital, because he can't remember anything. That's not too cool," added the German.

"Hopefully it's not too serious. Injuries after games like this in pre-season is the biggest problem obviously."

New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had no issues with Fabregas' red card.

"In this period the fatigue can sometimes bring a bit of going too late," he said.

"I know Fabregas is a good man and it is not his habit to have this sort of situation."

Conte also backed captain John Terry, who signed a new one-year contract in May after it appeared he was destined to leave the club, to play a big part this season - although he suggested the 35-year-old may not play as regularly.

"John Terry is the captain and he is working very well, like the other players," said the Italian.

"I am very happy with his attitude and I know he loves this team and this shirt.

"It is very important because he can transfer his passion for this club to the other players.

"He can play an important role this year if he plays and if he doesn't play."

Conte also expressed his desire to keep winger Juan Cuadrado, who was loaned out to Juventus last season and has been linked with a move away this summer.

"In my idea of football I love the role of the winger when doing a one-v-one. Cuadrado is one of these," said the Chelsea boss.

"I am pleased to train him and when today you can have a substitution of Cuadrado and Pedro to replace Willian and (Victor) Moses, it is good for Chelsea.

"Cuadrado is a Chelsea player and I hope he remains one."

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