Fabregas sees red in not-so-friendly game

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas (left) slides into a challenge on Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan in the 70th minute of a friendly. The Spain international was sent off.
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas (left) slides into a challenge on Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan in the 70th minute of a friendly. The Spain international was sent off.PHOTO: REUTERS

PASADENA (California) • Cesc Fabregas has apologised to Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan for the studs-up challenge which saw the Chelsea midfielder sent off in their friendly in California on Wednesday.

Fabregas slid in and caught Liverpool's new signing on the top of his foot in the second half of Chelsea's 1-0 win at the Rose Bowl. He was immediately sent off by referee Baldomero Toledo.

Chelsea sent out a tweet soon after describing the dismissal as "a little harsh" but later accepted it was a bad tackle, with Fabregas personally seeking out Klavan to express his regret over the incident.

Said the Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: "I think that in this period, the fatigue sometimes can bring a (player) to go too late.

"I know Fabregas is a good man, a good boy and is not a player to have this type of situation. I'm sorry for him, I'm sorry for the Liverpool player.

"We saw a competitive game between two teams that didn't want to lose. I am pleased for my team because I saw the right spirit, I saw a lot of positive things."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "It's a red card. He (Fabregas) came by us in the dressing room and said sorry. 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," said the German.

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

Klopp denied that the game had more edge than a normal pre-season clash, but added: "It was far away from a friendly game, and that's okay."

Chelsea won the International Champions Cup match thanks to Gary Cahill's 10th-minute header.

Last night, Pep Guardiola's tour of China ended on a high as Manchester City beat Borussia Dortmund 6-5 on penalties in Shenzhen.

The match had ended 1-1 after regulation time on a poor pitch.

Striker Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock in the 78th minute, tapping the ball in from David Silva's pass, to send City home with a morale-boosting win after a frustrating week-long stay in China.

Their previous match with English Premier League rivals Manchester United in Beijing was abandoned due to poor weather and pitch conditions

Christian Pulisic slotted an equaliser through Angus Gunn's legs to take the game to penalties. The City goalkeeper proved the hero, saving three penalties.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2016, with the headline 'Fabregas sees red in not-so-friendly game'. Print Edition | Subscribe