Chelsea must not concede early goal to Man Utd, warns Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo admits his Chelsea side cannot afford to concede an early goal against Manchester United on Sunday

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta at Cobham
roberto di matteo
Roberto Di Matteo's side suffered their first European loss of the season on Tuesday Photo: TSR

roberto di matteo

Roberto Di Matteo has warned his Chelsea side about the dangers of conceding early goals ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Blues suffered their first European defeat of the season at Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday after falling behind to Alex Teixeira’s goal within three minutes in Ukraine.

And the Italian admits it is crucial his side start Sunday’s clash well as they look to extend their four-point lead over Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.

“When you concede an early goal it’s always a bad start to a game,” he said. “Starting the game well is very important – and both halves, not just the first half. [It’s also important] to be disciplined with the organisation and not losing that even if you do concede an early goal.”

Di Matteo admits the spirit in the Chelsea camp took a knock as a result of their midweek disappointment but the Blues boss is certain his side are well-placed to bounce back with a positive result against the Red Devils.

“We always pay attention to the players’ behaviour and the mood in the camp,” he said.

“Certainly after a defeat it’s not the best within our dressing room but we have a great game coming up on Sunday and we can show everybody that we’re a strong team.

“We are still in good shape and this group of players always responds to a bad result.”

A victory for Chelsea would open up a seven-point gap between the Blues and United but Di Matteo still feels it is too soon for the game to have a significant impact on the title race.

“It’s still a little bit early in the season for a game like this to be decisive,” he said.

“They’re a great rival of ours; we’re playing at home so we want to try and keep our home record intact and keep the distance from them.”

Di Matteo also confirmed that midfielder Frank Lampard will be out of action for a “couple of weeks” with the calf injury that forced him off in the first half of Tuesday’s defeat in Ukraine.

Click here to buy Chelsea tickets!


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Nitto ATP Finals 2018: Federer surges through Thiem to keep hopes alive in London
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
The Sport Review
Eden Hazard names former Chelsea FC star key to Stamford Bridge transfer
ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Nitto ATP Finals 2018: Cilic battles past Isner; boosts Djokovic into semis
The Sport Review
Agent: Mesut Ozil rejected ‘crazy’ offers to stay at Arsenal