Ben Chilwell claimed our mid-game tactical changes saved the match for Chelsea against Manchester United but admitted the nature of conceding such a late equaliser meant the draw felt more like a defeat.
The Blues found solutions to the numerous problems posed by the Red Devils at Stamford Bridge, with head coach Graham Potter switching to a back four during the first half and then Jorginho converting a late penalty to seemingly earn us all three points.
However, Casemiro’s looping header deep in stoppage time earned a point for Erik ten Hag’s side and left the Bridge, and Chilwell, deflated.
‘When you score a late goal in the 85th minute, I guess you feel like that should be the game,’ the defender reflected afterwards.
‘The way we defended until literally the last minute was brilliant so in the end it feels like a loss, even though a point was probably a fair result. It was two good teams that in the end probably cancelled each other out.
‘We both had spells - theirs came at the beginning and our spell came in the second half so both teams played well. It was a good game, a very intense game, and we’re all very tired now but a point was probably a fair result.’
Potter’s decision to swap Marc Cucurella for Mateo Kovacic and add an extra body in midfield came at a time when United were swarming all over the hosts and strangling our ability to play out from the back.
As the closest operator to the dugout during the first period, Chilwell was the man on hand to receive instructions from his manager and revealed the thinking behind the changes.
‘In the first 30 minutes, they were really on top of us and dominated us a little bit so we made a tactical change,’ he continued. ‘I was the closest player to him [Potter] so he pulled me and said we were going to go to a back four.
‘Credit to him and to us because we adapted with it well, especially as it wasn’t even half-time but during the first half. We went with the diamond in midfield where we overloaded them and grew into the game, especially in the second half when we controlled the game a lot more.
‘The formation change was really positive for us and it gave us a lot more possession so it was a positive tactical change and we dealt with it well, which the manager expects. The fans got behind us, we grew in confidence and then got the goal. We hoped that would be it but it wasn’t to be.’
Chilwell also had words of praise for the ice-cool Jorginho, who was forced to wait for several minutes before dispatching his spot-kick, and reflections on extending our undefeated run under Potter to eight matches.
‘Jorgi is the coolest guy in the room, especially when it comes to penalties and I think it’s something you’re either born with or not,’ he added. ‘You’ve seen it time and time again. His Chelsea record with penalties is magnificent and again he delivered.
‘We’ve got full confidence in him when he steps up to take the penalty and the way he does it is brilliant so long may it continue that he performs for us in that respect.
‘We’ve got a really good mentality and we’re very confident going into games at the moment. Even if you look at the first 30 minutes today, we defended well, we were together as a unit and solid.
‘I think that’s something we’ve brought on leaps and bounds since the manager came in - the defensive togetherness, we’re keeping clean sheets and we nearly kept another one today. We just need to keep building on that, keep that defensive unit strong as a whole team and then build from there.’