A tough defeat to take. That was the clear message from Andreas Christensen after a late goal conceded and an even later penalty missed resulted in no points from our opening Champions League fixture.
For a long time it looked as if the young Dane and his fellow defenders would keep Chelsea’s first clean sheet of the season. It was more a question of whether we could find a way to break down solid opponents from Spain with a goalkeeper playing well but who had managed just one attempt on target.
Then, with quarter-of-an-hour to go, Valencia took the lead from a free-kick and subsequently Chelsea failed to convert a penalty that was awarded our way after VAR had intervened.
‘We were looking forward to having a great start to the [Champions League] campaign,’ began Christensen as he looked back on the 1-0 defeat.
‘We felt we were on top for most of the game. Valencia had some spells but we knew that was going to happen and we were ready for it. We kept working. Our work ethic was good all game and it felt we controlled most of it which is why it is tough to accept the goal against and the result in the end.
‘We are not happy to let goals in from those situations and we know it can be costly, but now we look forward to the next game.’
Christensen considered two individuals, Ross Barkley who had taken the responsibility of shooting for goal from the penalty spot but hit the bar, and Mason Mount who was injured by a Francis Coquelin foul and had to go off early in the game.
‘We know Ross, he is going to take the next one as well, he always feels confident with penalties, he is one of the best ones which is why he was on the penalty today,’ he said.
‘Mason has been very important for us, he is great for us in our build-up and he is dangerous in front of goal so obviously he was a big loss, but then we have great players to come on so it should not hurt us too much. Hopefully he is not too bad as he is an important player.’
Looking ahead to the five remaining games in the group stage, Christensen added:
‘We are expecting tough games against all the teams which is why it is important to get points at home and challenge away from home, so it is a tough loss.
‘Right now all the games are important for us and we have to win them, so from now on we have to get a rhythm and get the results we need. We had a great game at the weekend against Wolves and we try to build on that and for the majority of the game we played quite well and that is why it is so hard to accept that we lost.
‘It was a game we felt we needed to win and we wanted to show our fans what we can do at home, especially in the Champions League. It is tough but that is what it is all about.’