"The only disappointment was we didn't score the goal with the chances we created because all in all, the performance was very good."
Some might say the most important part of any football match is scoring "the" goal. Or preferably scoring more than just "the" one goal. I like four, personally, but that's just me. So that's a pretty big disappointment, even if it is the only one, no?
But how about the performance?
"We controlled the game very well, we created a number of chances... [...] I am not concerned because we created chances. It is the first game we haven't scored, we normally do, and we will continue to do so if we create chances."
You know, he's right. Chances to beget goals and Chelsea did create a fair few of them. If not for the criminal wastefulness of Eden Hazard, the Blues might have run out easy winners. I'll step back from that ledge, my friend.
That bit about controlling the game...well, let's just chalk that up to Di Matteo putting a very, very, (VERY!) positive spin on the proceedings (Mark Hughes did the same thing). I don't think either team controlled much of anything, let alone the game, and let alone "very well". In fact, the only thing controlled during those 90 minutes was my upchuck reflex every time Tony Gale opened his mouth, but that's a story for another day.
In addition to the wasted chances, Chelsea had a couple quite decent penalty shouts, too. Andre Marriner swallowed his whistle; did Di Matteo swallow his words?
"The one with JT and Nelsen looked a stonewall penalty to me. I have watched the replay. I know the ref doesn't have the replay and I don't know if he didn't see it or saw it and didn't think it was."
Boom. Stonewall. Ryan Nelsen, life insurance salesman to the stars, took a piggy-back ride on the John Terry express and he didn't even have to pay the fare. Criminal.
Di Matteo did let the referee off easier for the clumsy challenge by Shaun Wright-Phillips on Hazard, while there was no mention of the time Ashley Cole's head nearly got taken off by a flying boot. If a certain action (defined illegal by the rules of the game) would be a foul every time outside of the penalty box, why is it not called a foul inside the penalty box?
Di Matteo also had a few thoughts about handshake-gate, but I can't be bothered to write another word about that shit.
All-in-all, Robbie did his usual public-man-manager thing and put a positive spin on a fairly listless spectacle - top of the league with 10 points from 12 to start the season, it's hard to disagree too vehemently. Saturday's display may not have been as impressive as what had come before in the league but it was by no means tragic. Up next is the all-important midweek clash with the Italian champions on Matchday 1 of the 2012-13 Champions League:
"We need to assess the players tomorrow but it doesn't look like we had any major issues, just a couple of knocks. We will now shift our energy to Wednesday's game."