Juan Mata: Chelsea ‘deeply disappointed’ by Euro exit
Juan Mata admits his disappointment at seeing Chelsea become the first holders to crash out of Champions League at group stage
Juan Mata admitted Chelsea were “deeply disappointed” to fall at the first hurdle of their Champions League title defence despite their emphatic 6-1 win over Nordsjaelland on Wednesday.
Rafael Benítez’s first victory in charge of the Blues was rendered meaningless as the west Londoners were parachuted down into the Europa League despite a six-goal win at Stamford Bridge.
A David Luiz penalty set Chelsea on their way before a brace from Fernando Torres either side of Gary Gahill’s strike put the Blues 4-1 up after Joshua John had netted for the visitors.
Juan Mata and Oscar then added gloss to the scoreline, but the Blues still suffered an early exit as a result of Juventus’ 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk.
“We did what we had to do but it wasn’t enough,” said Mata. “We played really well, especially in the second half, but the sense of disappointment is deep.
“We wanted to get through to the next round as we are the holders of the competition, but we have to carry on and try to win the Europa League.
“It wasn’t a problem tonight or in the last game. We didn’t do well enough in previous games; we lost points early on.
“In the end we got 10 points and in other groups that might have been enough to get through. For us it wasn’t enough because Shakhtar and Juventus are two very strong teams.
“It’s a sad day but we will try and win the Europa League. It’s a new tournament for the club and gives us another challenge for the season.”