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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Di Matteo blames defence

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo laid the blame for his side's 2-1 defeat at West Brom firmly at the door of his defenders after an unhappy return to The Hawthorns.

Last Updated: 18/11/12 at 08:22 Post Comment

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Shane Long headed the home side into an early lead and although the European champions levelled through Eden Hazard they were undone by Peter Odemwingie's winner in the 50th minute.

And Di Matteo, who was at the helm of the Baggies from June 2009 until February 2011, admitted the Blues need to find a better balance between attacking intent and being sound at the back.

The Italian told Sky Sports: "Defensively we were not good enough to win the game after conceding two goals. Thinking that you need to score three to win the game is just mad.

"We know we can play a bit more defensively. We are trying to find the right balance where we can create chances and win games, but we have to start with being defensively more attentive."

The Chelsea boss, who left regular starters such as Oscar, Juan Mata, Ramires, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic on the bench, claimed the team selection was influenced by the demands of international football.

"It was forced on us with the international games in midweek," he said. "We had players coming back from long trips overseas with five or six hours of time difference.

"They were very fatigued and tired and were not in condition to start the game."

The Blues have taken just two points from their last four Premier League games to fall four points behind leaders Manchester City and face a crucial UEFA Champions League date with Juventus in Turin on Tuesday night.

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was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

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reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

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pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

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