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Di Matteo laments poor start

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01 Sep 2012 12:51:00

Di Matteo laments poor start

Roberto Di Matteo admitted Chelsea were architects of their own demise, suffering UEFA Super Cup humiliation at the hands of Atletico Madrid. The Blues looked anything but champions of Europe as they crashed to a 4-1 defeat to the Europa League winners, with one-time reported target Radamel Falcao showing them what they were missing and then some. Chelsea were left shell-shocked by Falcao's ruthless first-half hat-trick - although in reality, they never recovered after the Colombian scored in the seventh minute at the Stade Louis II in Monaco. "We had a very slow start and we conceded two goals within 20 minutes," Di Matteo said. "We conceded too much space. We look at the start of our season and we looked certainly more solid and it's something that's been a little bit of our game, to be hard to beat. "Tonight, that certainly wasn't the case. "We never really got into the game, so that's the most disappointing aspect of tonight. "We conceded a bit to much space to Atletico Madrid, especially a player like Falcao. You cannot give him space." Chelsea defended against Falcao as if they were completely unaware he was one of the best finishers in the world. "We said it before that he's one of the top strikers probably in European football and he showed it tonight again with the second goal he scored. It was a very good strike," Di Matteo added. Chelsea had no excuse for letting Falcao out of their sight - they had been linked with signing him for long enough. Speculation was most intense when Andre Villas-Boas was manager, having coached the 26-year-old at Porto, and Di Matteo denied he himself had ever been interested. "We have two very good strikers in Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge and I'm very happy with the squad that I have," he said. Di Matteo claimed he was unaware of comings and goings at Stamford Bridge as the transfer window slammed shut. But Michael Essien joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan and Yossi Benayoun completed a loan return to his former club West Ham. There had been speculation Sturridge would also be allowed to leave but Di Matteo said: "There's a lot of talk and speculation. Not everything is true," " "He came on tonight as well so I don't think there's anything to report or comment regarding Daniel. "I've always said we have the two strikers and they'll be with us." Di Matteo added of his post-window squad: I'm happy with the squad. "We have a good core of players and we've signed some young, exciting, talented players. "It will take a bit of time to integrate them but I'm happy with the way the squad is." Ashley Cole tweeted: "Wellll that was a lesson, absolute joke no fight, desire, passion, and a big reality check!!!!!! #sorrycfcfans." Man-of-the-match Falcao admitted there had been interest in him from England this summer. "We will see what happens down the line," he said. "The club that made the effort to keep me was Atletico Madrid and, today, that was rewarded." Atletico boss Diego Simeone was rendered "speechless" by Falcao's display. He said: "What Radamel is doing is indescribable. "He's a lad that, whenever you set the bar high, he responds by going even higher. "I've know him since he was young and he's always demanding. "He thrives on pressure, he thrives on demands. "Hopefully, we'll be able to enjoy him at Atletico for a long time." Simeone had yesterday declared Chelsea favourites for tonight's match but denied he had been playing mind games. He said: "We believe we were playing against the European champions, the winners of the Champions League. "We were facing a team that eliminated Barcelona in the semi-final and beat Bayern in the final, a team that are strengthening themselves year on year." However, he added: "We knew where they could hurt us and we knew where to hurt them. "Our first half was truly spectacular. We really played an outstanding match. "This fills me with pride as a coach."


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