Kalidou Koulibaly admits to having mixed emotions after what looked set to be a perfect home debut for Chelsea ended in heartbreak due to a last-minute Tottenham equaliser.
Having opened the scoring in his first game for the Blues at Stamford Bridge, during an impressive first half when both he and the team seemed to have the beating of our London rivals, Koulibaly had earned the chance to celebrate with our supporters at the final whistle.
Although he was ultimately robbed of the joyous conclusion he deserved, the Senegalese international insists his stunning volley to put us in the lead and the celebrations which followed were still a great moment for him.
‘I was feeling amazing to score with my second shot at Stamford Bridge, it was really beautiful. I didn’t expect it but I was really happy to do it in front of our supporters,’ he said.
‘It was an amazing atmosphere and when everybody shouted my name I was really happy and I hope it will not be the last time, I want to feel this the next time.’
Koulibaly’s impressive and composed performance throughout, during a London derby which became increasingly emotionally charged on and off the pitch, belied the fact that this was only his second match in the Premier League.
However, it was the way the team played which he chose to highlight afterwards, believing that there were plenty of good things from Chelsea to be pleased about after twice taking the lead, Reece James getting our second after the break, even if two controversial equalisers meant we didn’t get the result we deserved.
‘It was very close. We knew that this was a difficult game against a good team. We showed our plan was good because we showed the beautiful face of Chelsea at the beginning of the game. We scored the goal and after we kept on going.
‘In the second half we conceded the goal that was a bit hard for us, but we kept on believing and kept on going forward. I was really happy for Reece’s second goal, but to finish this game with a draw was hard. I think that we deserved more and we have to keep on believing in us because we know that we are a great team and we can do better.
‘It was very difficult to concede that goal in the last minute, it hurt a bit, but I think that we did a good game, a great game. We saw the beautiful face of Chelsea and this is the most important thing and you have to keep on going after this draw.
‘We didn’t deserve it because we made a lot of good things and to draw at the last minute, of course it felt a bit like a defeat. But we have to keep on working and try to win the next game.’
Although he believes we deserved to take the win against Spurs he also knows there are lessons to be learned to make sure we don’t suffer the pain of that 96th-minute equaliser again in the future.
‘It is tough because we knew that it was really difficult because Tottenham are a tall team so they could rely just on free-kicks and corners. We hoped to concentrate a bit more at the end of the game but you have to keep on believing because we showed that we are a good team with a lot of good players.
‘Our plan was clear, the coach told us what we had to and we did it very well and it meant we didn’t see Tottenham at the beginning of the game and we kept on going the whole of the first half.
‘Even in the second half it is normal that they came like this because they wanted to score this goal to get a draw, but after we kept on believing in us and we kept on going forward and we scored the second goal.
‘So it was a good day for the Chelsea fans and the Chelsea team for 90 minutes, but at the end they got this goal and we have to work on it.’