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Final whistle verdict: Clinical counters

In the wake of our second straight defeat, Guus Hiddink said Manchester City’s cutting edge was the principal difference between the teams at Stamford Bridge.

The manager had no complaints with the outcome though he did feel the final scoreline wasn’t completely reflective of the 90 minutes, noting that we did muster some half-chances…

‘It was of course a bad defeat,’ Hiddink began. ‘We were playing a very strong team. Manchester City have proven that and it’s not for nothing they’re in the last four in Europe.

‘We made some mistakes. We had control with some corners in the first half and we had already been warned twice that they could counter to harm us.

‘It came from our corner and our advantage that they got the counter and made the first goal. The second goal was similar. It was a counter. That means we were in control but we didn’t have the ultimate bite to kill it off.

‘We had some half-chances - we didn’t create open chances. The difference between us and Man City was that they needed one-and-a-half chances to score one goal.'

The loss was Hiddink’s first in a league game at Stamford Bridge
‘It’s a difficult defeat. The 0-3 seems high and is high, but it’s not that we were outplayed. It was three smart counter situations. There was not a big, big difference. The defeat is deserved but not so negative that we are now feeling desperate.

‘It’s difficult when you’re playing an extremely intelligent team. It’s difficult to get in to a duel when they make short triangles. We managed to do that a few times in the first half and we got some half-chances.

'There was no lack of fighting spirit but it’s difficult when you have intelligent players playing around you. We have to respect the quality of the opponent.’