Guus Hiddink was pleased with the spirit and character shown by his side in our 2-2 draw with West Ham United this afternoon.
The Blues twice came from behind to secure a point against West Ham United and extend our unbeaten Premier League run, with Cesc Fabregas scoring both Chelsea goals, the second of which came from the penalty spot in the 89th minute.
On an eventful afternoon at Stamford Bridge the visitors had taken the lead through Manuel Lanzini before Fabregas restored parity on the stroke of half-time with a wonderful free-kick.
Substitute Andy Carroll put West Ham back in front with his first touch but there was still time for a further twist, and it came late on when Fabregas converted a penalty after Ruben Loftus-Cheek had won the kick.
Hiddink felt his side showed great desire to fight their way back into game twice.
‘I think it’s a fair result,’ he said. ‘In the first half we started okay but had a sloppy period where we were losing the ball easily. That made the team a bit uncertain, they reacted 10 minutes before half-time and it was a beautiful free-kick by Fabregas which gave us some comfort for the second half. We controlled the second half but were caught on the counter attack again, the team had to react and they did, so it was a fair result.’
He explained his thoughts on the penalty, which was awarded for a foul on Ruben Loftus-Cheek
‘It’s difficult to have a judgement when you see the angles. If you have a camera on the line you can make a judgement. I thought it was on the line when he was tripped, Loftus-Cheek was about to score because he was going towards goal.
‘He was tripped in my opinion, it was a very close call on the line and the line is part of the box. If there is any doubt the benefit of the doubt goes with the attacking team. Normally he’s able to score in that position, it’s not much of a discussion, he was tripped.’
Hiddink spoke about our aims between now and the end of the season
‘Since December we are unbeaten in the league but we have had too many draws. We would have liked to have more victories, we would have been knocking on the door for a Champions League position like West Ham are doing, and I think their squad and coach deserve a compliment.
‘Our target now is to see if we can get a European spot and second is that the players show why they are playing for a big club, and they showed that today. Pride is at stake when you experience the first half of the season we did.’
He praised the performance of two-goal Fabregas
‘Players help themselves to improve. He took a lot of responsibility. We provide the circumstances and ask them how to play. With experienced players they know how to manage a game, he did perfectly and responded twice to what the team needed.’
Hiddink was asked whether he considered bringing Pato on late in the game
‘When Costa is not there we have Remy, we also have Traore and Pato. They are competing for the second spot. I make my judgement on what we see. Loftus-Cheek is strong, can penetrate and he can play physically and technically well, which he showed. You have to make a choice on who to bring on.’