Roberto Di Matteo blames Chelsea fatigue for Liverpool defeat
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo admits his squad has been stretched over the past eight weeks, battling on three fronts
Roberto Di Matteo has admitted fatigue played a part in Chelsea’s disappointing 4-1 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Luis Suárez darted past three Chelsea defenders before his cross was turned past Petr Cech by Michael Essien for Liverpool’s opener, and John Terry’s slip allowed Jordan Henderson to double the Reds’ lead.
Kenny Dalglish’s side added a third through Daniel Agger before half-time and Stewart Downing missed his chance to make it 4-0 from the spot soon after.
Ramires pulled a goal back for Di Matteo’s men in the 51st minute but a Ross Turbull mis-kick gave Jonjo Shelvey the chance to cap an excellent Liverpool performance with a long-range strike.
Di Matteo, who masterminded Chelsea’s victories over Napoli, Benfica and Barcelona on their run to the Champions League final on 19 May, admitted a hectic schedule has taken its toll on his squad.
“We’ve played every three days in the last eight weeks,” said Di Matteo. “It was our 19th game.
“Only by utilising the strength that we have in our squad we’ve been able to reach the finals and still have a chance with two games to go.
“We’ve tried very hard. We’ve pushed in every game. But Liverpool were better than us [on Tuesday] and they scored the goals at the right time as well.
“We hit the post at 0-0 and we hit the crossbar that could have changed the game a little bit.”