The Mirror caused a right bit of stir last night with their speculative report on the possibility of Chelsea receiving a points penalty after a sixth breach of The FA's Rule E20 (failure to control players) in last weekend's 3-1 win at Manchester City. What made it not easily dismissible was that it was in fact based on The FA's written reasons for the record fine (even on appeal) from May's Battle of the Bridge against Spurs.
Still, anything other than a fine for a fight clearly instigated by a frustrated and vindictive home side would be an outrageous and ludicrous decision. Far be it from me to guess what The FA might or might not do of course.
That said, according to the Telegraph's Matt Law, a man with his ear close to ground at Chelsea, it's "highly unlikely" that Chelsea would become the first team to be docked points in the history of the Premier League for such an offense. The club are "expected to escape a points deduction", as per the report.
Chelsea expect to avoid an FA points deduction which Conte believes would be a "joke" #cfc https://t.co/z1iZ215nd8— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) December 11, 2016
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte himself was asked about this possibility after Sunday's win over West Bromwich Albion, and his response, as usual, was perfect.
"Are you joking? Are you joking?"
"For me, if you are involved in a situation and the fault is not your one, you must pay? Why? I don't understand this. Manchester City and Chelsea, at the end of the game, my players tried to keep their calm. I don't understand this. I repeat, I don't understand this."
"We are trying to improve in all aspects, also this. For this reason, I reply: you must be joking. You must be honest and understand which team is at fault."
"We had a bad record in the past, but now we are different. I think that, in every game, you fight a lot during 90 minutes and, when the referee whistles at the end, it's important to finish. I don't know what happened in the past. I know what happened in the present. For this reason, I ask if you are joking or not. After the game between City and Chelsea, you could see very clearly that my players tried to keep their calm."
-Antonio Conte; source: Telegraph