Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo defends team selection

Media playback is not supported on this device

Di Matteo rues missed chances

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo says he has no regrets about making eight changes to his team, despite the Blues suffering a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool.

The loss to the side they beat 2-1 to win the FA Cup on Saturday ended Chelsea's hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

But with the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on 19 May, Di Matteo said: "I have no regrets.

"We've had very intense games, the last one just three days ago."

The Italian continued: "To get yourself up every three days, it's a big demand on everyone. I thought with fresh legs and new energy we could have had a better chance.

"We've come so far because we've used all the energy and all the players we have in the squad, that's the only way to be in the race for fourth until now and qualify for those two finals.

"Liverpool is a difficult place to play and we found a very inspired Liverpool side."

Di Matteo opted to retain only three of the side who started the FA Cup final for the game at Anfield.

Defender Ashley Cole and midfielders Juan Mata and Frank Lampard were unused substitutes, while goalkeeper Petr Cech and striker Didier Drogba were omitted completely.

Chelsea trailed 3-0 at half-time through a Michael Essien own goal, a Jordan Henderson side-foot finish and Daniel Agger's header, while Stewart Downing also missed a penalty for the Reds.

The Blues did pull a goal back early in the second half through Ramires, but an error from goalkeeper Ross Turnbull gifted Jonjo Shelvey a goal to seal Liverpool's win.

Before the hosts scored, Chelsea did hit the post through Branislav Ivanovic, while Fernando Torres struck the crossbar later in the first half and Di Matteo felt this could have altered the outcome had it gone in.

"We had a few chances and, if they had gone in, it could have changed the game for us. They didn't and Liverpool went on and scored their goals. Liverpool deserved to win tonight."

Top Stories