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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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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