FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: CONCEDING EARLY COSTS

Posted on: Wed 24 Oct 2012

Roberto Di Matteo was clear after the defeat in Donetsk, Chelsea must pick up the full six points from our remaining two home games in the group stage, and must learn lessons from the way chances were conceded against the Ukrainian champions.

The manager had made a couple of changes to the side, one a straight swap at centre-back and the other bringing in Frank Lampard which allowed Ramires to push  forward against the dangerous Willian. However there was an early double blow, with Shakhtar going ahead inside three minutes and then Lampard lost to a reoccurrence of the calf injury that ruled him out of recent England duty.


'Shakhtar are a very good side with a good track record at home against English teams in particular, but in general as well, and the early goal helped them,' said Di Matteo after the match.
'It is always difficult when that happens in an important game, and it unsettled us a little in the first half, we found it hard to get into our rhythm.

'I was always confident we were going to score a goal and we came out better in the second half and started to control the game a little more, but then they caught us in possession on halfway and then we were chasing two goals and the game becomes very open.'

On having to change the team after Lampard's injury
'The preparation took into consideration Willian, to have Ramires on the right to control that situation. Then we thought it was the right choice to put on Hazard but we were too individualistic in our pressing in the first half, and too stretched as a team which conceded space to Shakhtar.'

On the goals
'They [Shakhtar] were a little bit lucky with the first goal with a ricochet on the edge of the box but the second goal we got caught in possession and they punished us on the break. We certainly have to do better in those situations as a team.

'We then had to open up to try to create chances and score goals, and it is a shame our goal came so late in the game.'

On Petr Cech and his collection of saves
'He is a tremendous goalkeeper and he is in good shape and very confident. It is a bonus to have such a good goalkeeper in our ranks.'

Looking ahead to the remaining matches
'We need to win our two home games remaining for sure and the consolation tonight is Juventus's draw in Denmark which shows the Champions League is a very competitive competition.' 


A clip of Roberto Di Matteo's post-match reaction to Chelsea TV can be watched above with the full interview available now via the channel's online access, where Petr Cech also features.