The preseason clash between English Premier League rivals, Chelsea and Liverpool, in the International Champions Cup holding in the U.S. saw Chelsea nick a one goal win while Cesc Fabregas was sent off.

Fabregas made his first Chelsea appearance in this summer’s preseason tour that has seen Chelsea play an initial three matches in Austria before heading to the U.S.

Fabregas was absent because of his engagement with his home nation, Spain at the Euro 2016 championship. Spain were sent out of the championship by the Italian side led by Conte.

Chelsea took the lead against Liverpool in the 10th minute through a Gary Cahill far post header. With Liverpool throwing all they had at Chelsea defense afterwards, the Blues did well to hold firm to their one-goal advantage.

Chelsea were reduced to ten men 20 minutes to the end of the preseason fixture which never looked like one. Fabregas was shown a red card in the 70th minute for a late tackle on Liverpool’s Estonian defender, Ragnar Klavan.

The Spanish play-maker who was immediately shown a red card by the referee with very little to protest walked off the pitch with his head down.

At the end of the match, Fabregas and Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte both went to Liverpool’s dressing room for the mistimed tackle, according to Express newspaper in its online version.

Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp confirmed this, saying: “Fabregas came in the dressing room and said sorry.”

Klopp, however, agreed Fabregas deserved a red card for the tackle. He said: “He came too late in the challenge. Sometimes in life if you are too late then you get a red card. That’s how it was.”

Conte also apologised to the Liverpool team in their dressing room as he said: “I am sorry and the player is too. I am sorry for him and the Liverpool player.”

He went on to explain the likely reason for the mistimed tackle. He said: “In this period (pre-season) it is easy to go too late into a tackle as the players still lack match fitness and may be tired already, late in a match.”

He attested to it that the tackle wasn’t intentional and said: “I know Fabregas is a good man and a good boy and he is not the type of player to have this situation.”

Liverpool who was on the receiving end of the tackle now has more than getting players into match sharpness to worry about. Now they have to worry about one of their players who is currently in the hospital.

“The biggest problem for me is that Marko Grujic is in hospital. He can’t remember anything. That’s not too cool for a young boy in this situation,” Klopp mused.

Author: Yemi Olarinre