Petr Cech believes our inability to make the most of good opportunities cost us dearly in Turin, as the Blues were beaten 3-0 by Juventus, a result which leaves our hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League out of our hands.
Two deflected strikes either side of the break – from Fabio Quagliarella and Arturo Vidal – left us with a mountain to climb, before our misery was compounded in the last minute when substitute Sebastian Giovinco raced through to score the home side’s third, ensuring we now need to beat FC Nordsjaelland in our final group game and hope Antonio Conte’s side lose against Shakhtar Donetsk in order to avoid elimination.
In truth, it was no less than the Italian side deserved having dominated for long spells, but Cech, who made a string of crucial saves to frustrate the hosts throughout, was left to rue some clear-cut opportunities in the first half.
‘In the first half we started with a good spirit, we knew it was going to be difficult and that they would put us under pressure, which they did,’ explained the Blues goalkeeper.
‘We defended well when we needed to and then we had three counter-attacks where we could have scored a goal, and that’s what made the difference. In such an important game, if you don’t take your chances it becomes more difficult.
‘They created some chances and then scored what I’d say was a lucky goal with a deflection. In the second half it happened again, with another deflection. It wasn’t our night in terms of luck, but they deserved it because they played really well and created good spaces for themselves.’
From a defensive point of view, these are certainly worrying times, with Roberto Di Matteo’s side having failed to keep a clean sheet over the course of the past 10 games.
The absence of John Terry is understandably a key factor, but Cech isn’t looking for excuses, and argued it must quickly be put right.
‘We have a lot of talent in the team, that’s for sure,’ he said. ‘They are not just Chelsea players by accident, I believe this can guide us through, but we need to start making things better.
‘To concede every game and to not take chances when you have them, you can’t win games like this. We’ll do everything we can to change the situation, but with a run of results which aren’t positive, confidence is not as high as we would like it to be.’
Di Matteo opted to start with Eden Hazard up front, ensuring Fernando Torres was named as one of the substitutes, although the Spaniard did enter the fray late in the game.
‘The manager makes a choice for the team, he believes the team he picks is the one to win a game, so he made his selection the way he did because he felt we could win the game,’ said Cech.
‘As players we respect that, that’s why he’s the manager and why he was given the job. If you start on the bench you need to make sure that you’re ready when you come on.
‘He did very well last season. We won the Champions League and everybody believed he was the right man to continue.
‘They should still believe, the season is still early. We are all in the same boat, the manager and the players have the same responsibility for results.’