Sunday 07 October 2012
Roberto Di Matteo hailed his Chelsea players for not being reliant on one player after watching them beat Norwich City 4-1 to go four points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League. Chelsea made it 19 points from 21 this season, their best start since 2006.
"At the moment, the team is a healthy form, we are creating lots of chances, we are scoring lots of goals, and with different goalscorers as well,” Di Matteo said. "We don't rely on just one player, so it's a team that is in good shape.
“At the moment, they are enjoying playing football. It's what they love doing and they are also lucky people to be able to do this as a job.
"We can only try to continue to keep this momentum and form going for ourselves and I think that will help everybody involved going forward."
"As a team, we're not defending well enough"
Chris Hughton lamented his team’s inability to hold on to their lead.
"I was probably more annoyed and disappointed at half-time than I was at the end of the game because, after taking the lead, we certainly needed to be in the game for longer,” he said. "When you come here, particularly with the quality that they have got you know it's going to be a tough ask."
"At the moment, as a team, we're not defending well enough."
Everton manager David Moyes singled out Leighton Baines for praise after his 88th-minute penalty handed the side a share of the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Wigan Athletic.
"Leighton's penalty was fantastic and his performance was up there as good as anything,” Moyes said. "We needed it and he drove us on, and we showed great character.
"We thoroughly deserved the point. We played really well in the second half and kept having a go at them.”
"We played really well in the second half and kept having a go at them"
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez paid tribute to both sides for an absorbing encounter, but admitted defensive sloppiness had cost his side victory.
“We're the home side and I'd say we should have defended better to get the three points,” Martinez said. “My only disappointment is that the first goal is too soft. We need to learn to defend better in terms of concentration and intensity. But I'm pleased with the performance.”
Mark Hughes insists he is still the right man to lead Queens Park Rangers after a fifth defeat in seven games left them anchored at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
"Am I still the right man? Oh yes, absolutely,” said Hughes. “We knew where we might possibly be at the beginning of the season because of the amount of changes we've made.
"We are disappointed because in a number of games we've played well and not got what we've deserved out of games. You've got to perform from start to finish.
"That's the second game running we've conceded two poor goals defensively in that initial period. You can't afford to do that in the Premier League because you give yourself a mountain to climb."
"You've got to perform from start to finish"
West Brom head coach Steve Clarke is not surprised by the good start to the season his side have made but felt his side’s performance could have been better despite the victory.
"I knew we would be competitive in all the games we played,” Clarke said. "It was probably harder than should have been. From 2-0 up we became a little bit too open.
"Defensively it was not a performance you would usually associate with us. But attacking-wise we played some fantastic football going forward. We created a lot of chances but it took us longer to close the game out than it should have done."
Reading manager Brian McDermott was adamant his team had gained a point rather than lost two after they sacrificed a two-goal lead at Swansea City.
McDermott's men are without a top-flight win this term after six games but the manager was not complaining too much about a potential victory squandered.
"I know what happened in that second half," McDermott said. "Our goalkeeper has pulled off some fantastic saves, Swansea played really well and that is a point gained for us.
"I couldn't tell you how many, but I do know he [goalkeeper Alex McCarthy] has made some fantastic saves. So at 2-0, we have got to 70 minutes, but we are just sort of waiting for something to happen on their behalf.
"Our goalkeeper has pulled off some fantastic saves"
"We need to affect the game better than we did in the second half. But having said that, that is a good point gained here."
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup was less certain as to who deserved the points.
"It is a little difficult to say if it was a point gained or two lost - you can say both or neither," he said.
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