Petr Cech was left frustrated by Chelsea’s performance in the 1-0 defeat against FC Basel at St Jakob-Park and says that the only positive is the fact his side are through to the UEFA Champions League knock-out stages.
Despite a poor performance the Czech stopper was on course for another clean sheet before Mohamed Salah caught the Blues’ defence napping on 87 minutes to score the winner.
Basel had already shocked Chelsea in the reverse fixture and Jose Mourinho may have been a little guilty of underestimating them and has since said that he should have made more changes to his side due to fatigue.
Cech gave a frank assessment of Chelsea performance in the post match interviews. He told Sky Sports:
“We lacked a good start because as bad as we started that carried on for 45 minutes, The second half we improved a little.
“The only positive we have is that we qualified from the group.
“Sometimes 10 points isn’t enough to go through. (On this occasion) we have gone through but it is the only positive because we did not play well.
“If you give your opponent in the Champions League the feeling that they can, they can – and you see that.
“We could have finished the game off, but our last touch was missing – it was not our day.
“We need to be better.”
There’s no need for panic as Chelsea have qualified for the next round and are within touching distance of London rivals Arsenal in the Premier League but performances such as this will raise concerns for different reasons.
The performances aren’t quite there at the moment but when Mourinho’s side reaches an optimum level they could really kick-on as they bid to win the big titles, it is just a question of how long that will take. We’re not quite having as bad a November as we’ve had previously under Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo but the last two seasons have been examples of just how much a side can pay for dragging their feet.
Next up for the Blues is Southampton at home. The Saints have performed well so far this season and will want to avoid making the sort of blunders that cost them against Arsenal. There’s a few players in the Chelsea squad that shouldn’t be playing as regularly as they are because they’re dead on their feet, so hopefully we’ll see a fresher line-up and a much more positive result.