Monday, May 21, 2018

Di Matteo lauds Chelsea attack

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Oct 2012


Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo praised his side’s attacking prowess after their 4-0 Champions League rout of Nordsjaelland.

A Juan Mata double, tallied with a wonder set piece from David Luiz and a Ramires tap-in saw the reigning champions to the top of Group E.

When asked about Luiz’s dipping free-kick, Di Matteo told Sky Sports: “It was about time. When we practice set-pieces in training, they always score attractive goals. Mata scores them all the time in training, and Luiz with free kicks.”

Mata was Chelsea’s most impressive player in Copenhagen with his constant movement a thorn in the hosts’ side.

The former Valencia man was given two weeks off in early September after featuring for both the senior and Olympic Spain squads for Euro 2012 and the London Games, and Di Matteo believes the break has benefitted the attacker.

“(Mata) had a great season last season and, after his break, he has continued exactly where he finished off. He is playing very well, is in good shape and full of confidence,” Di Matteo said.

Focusing on the game as a whole, the Italian admitted Chelsea struggled to get into gear before the break, but was pleased with the overall performance.

Petr Cech denied the hosts an unexpected equaliser, minutes before Luiz extended Chelsea’s lead – tipping Joshua John’s curling effort onto the far post in a moment Di Matteo pinpointed as ‘crucial’.

“I think we were a little bit slow in the first half and much better in the second half, and the goal came at the end, it took a bit of time,” Di Matteo added.

“I think we had some good chances in the first half as well, you just need to be able to score those goals.

“Petr Cech made a crucial save again. An unbelievable save. It was while (the scoreline was) 1-0.

“All in all, I think it is a good scoreline for us, and the three points and clean sheet away from home as well, so a pleasing night.”


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