Chelsea once again were stifled by FC Basel as the English side has seen the Swiss side do the double over them this group stage. The Blues never seemed to get going in Switzerland on Tuesday night and failed to do little to impress in the 1-0 defeat away.
However, following the match Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was quick to take the blame off of the players as he felt maybe he should have made more changes due to the physical nature of the past weekend's match with West Ham United and the International Break the two weeks before:
"I felt the team was tired. The team today paid the price of the international [break], after he again left Spanish international Juan Mata on the bench despite suggesting his players were feeling fatigued.
The match that was crucial for us against West Ham, everyone played very, very well and everyone played an intense game and we paid a price [against Basel]. They were tired, no reaction, wrong decisions, so I’m not so sad with them because I think I understand. The team was not fresh.
Maybe I should make more changes in my team, but when you play so well and when we get such a good performance against West Ham, you have the temptation to play the same team because they played so well. We should get a better result than this, but I don't blame the players."
Following his admission that there should be no blame on the players, but for once was humbled in his post match comments as he fully admitted that his side got what they deserved with being defeated:
"A bad performance. A deserved defeat, but because of other results we qualify and that is the only positive thing from this night.
We qualify for the last 16 and now we have to get a result at home [against Steaua Bucharest] to be first.
Everything I didn't like from the first minute. We start with a defensive mistake immediately. The first time we were in the game, we made a mistake. The team only had a little bit of stability and a little bit of control in the second half, but it was a bad performance. I just want to rest and prepare the team for the weekend [against Southampton] now."
The only silver lining has to be the fact that the club are now set for a trip to the knockout stages, but as they have Southampton to deal with at the weekend, they have many more tough battles still to fight before this long campaign is over.
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