Saturday 29 September 2012
Roberto Di Matteo praised his team and striker Fernando Torres after his team confirmed their lead of the Barclays Premier League with a 2-1 away to Arsenal.
Torres scored the first goal before Gervinho levelled for Arsenal just before half-time, but a free-kick from Juan Mata secured a win for Chelsea and ended the home side’s unbeaten start to the season, much to the pleasure of Di Matteo.
"We played very well and deservedly won the game,” the Chelsea manager said. “It's always difficult when you come to the Emirates Stadium. They're a very good side. I thought we were excellent today.
"You can't allow them to dictate the rhythm and we did that well"
Roberto Di Matteo
"From start to the end, we never really defended too much or too deep. We tried to take the initiative and to go forward and create chances.
"Our pressing was very good. We showed it last weekend against Stoke as well. You can't allow them to dictate the rhythm and we did that well."
Di Matteo was particularly pleased with the contributions of Torres and captain John Terry, who led the side two days after he was found guilty of misconduct by a Football Association hearing.
"Very good," the Italian said of Terry. "He showed his leadership and it was right to pick him."
On Torres, he added: "I've always said he was happy. You tend to over-analyse a bit too much. I was always happy with his contribution and he scored a great goal."
"We conceded two soft goals from set-pieces"
Arsene Wenger felt his side deserved a draw but lamented his side’s failure to defend set-pieces.
"We were very nervous at the start and after the first 20 minutes when we got into it we should have never lost this game," the Arsenal manager said. "It's sad because we have a good team and we were playing at home. We conceded two soft goals from set-pieces. They had three shots on target and they scored two goals.
"It's a shame. The least we deserved was a draw. But you have to keep face and continue to play like we play. It's dangerous in the big games when you have to go after the game - you expose yourselves to the counter-attack.
"But there's a lot of positives in this game and that's what we have to take."
Arsenal look set to be without Abou Diaby for at least three weeks after the midfielder picked up an early injury for which he was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
"It's a thigh strain," Wenger said. "I don't know how bad - minimum three weeks."
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