Villas-Boas makes case for the defence

30 October 2011 02:16

Andre Villas-Boas backed John Terry and the rest of his Chelsea defenders following his side's 5-3 home defeat to Arsenal.

Terry -- the subject of an FA investigation in allegations of racial abuse directed at QPR's Anton Ferdinand six days previously -- slipped to allow Robin van Persie to make it 4-3 with five minutes remaining.

The Arsenal forward went on to complete his hat-trick in added time in a game marked by defensive mistakes by both sides.

Villas-Boas though, dismissed the idea that Terry, who strenuously denies the allegation of racial abuse, had been distracted by the off-field events and insisted the defeat did not reveal fundamental weaknesses at the back.

"You have to take two goals out of the situation, out of the perspective of our defensive shape, because one is a slip from a player that leaves another player one against one with our keeper," Villas-Boas said.

"So it's nothing to do with defensive organisation.

"And the other one is when you're trying to do something with three minutes on the clock.

"Apart from that, before this game we were in between the three best defences in the Premier League, so I would argue with anybody that our defensive organisation was a problem before this game.

"We committed mistakes today that we will try to evolve and maybe we can improve them for the game against Blackburn."

The Chelsea manager also said there was no need to console Terry for his error. "It's just defeat for a team, a very important defeat and nothing else," he said.

Chelsea now face a trip to face Genk in the Champions League before they travel to Blackburn where they will attempt to halt a run of back-to-back Premier League defeats.

"In the Champions League we can get in a very good situation in this game," he said.

"Regarding the Blackburn game, it's two defeats in the Premier League and we have change that with a win in the Premier League. So we have to find winning ways straight away."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said the win provided further evidence that his side are rapidly moving on from their early season problems.

Andre Santos and Theo Walcott were also on target as the Gunners recorded an eighth win in nine games while Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Terry scored for Chelsea.

"What has changed is that half of the team came on the 31st August and we had to play a Champions League qualifier," he said.

"We had to reveal the complete unity in the way we want to play football. I feel every win makes us stronger as well so everyone gets used to winning so we get stronger.

"But we have to remain hungry and keep focused and work very hard together because we have some ground to make up to be in a strong position in the league because the teams in front of us do not give points up very easily.

"The quality we have shown today should make us more confident."

Wenger hailed the contribution of Van Persie and added: "He is of course on fire but takes advantage from his class plus the fact we attack a lot and that we create chances. Overall the intelligence of his movement around the box and the accuracy of his finishing is exceptional."

The result was the latest in a string of high scoring games between the top teams this season and Wenger admitted he didn't have an explanation why.

"Is it down to the fact there are so many good offensive players on the pitch? Is it down to the fact the team score more because of the way they are set up? Is it down to the fact the top teams are a bit more fragile defensively? It's difficult to answer. We need more games to answer," he said.

Source: AFP