Football

Di Matteo defends Chelsea team selection

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Roberto Di Matteo has defended his Chelsea team selection following last night's disappointing 4-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, and insists his players will look to finish the season on a high when they host Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the 2011-12 Premier League season next weekend.

Just days after beating the Reds in the FA Cup final at Wembley, the Blues were thrashed by Kenny Dalglish's men at Anfield - a result which ended the west London club's hopes of a top four finish this year.

"We have come so far because we have used all the energy and players we have in the squad," the Italian told Sky Sports. "That was the only way to still be in the race for fourth spot until now and have qualified for two finals.

"I have no regrets. We found a very inspired Liverpool side tonight. I think Liverpool were better tonight. They scored at the right time, we hit the post before they scored which could have changed the game and hit the bar, but they deserved to win, they were the better side."

Chelsea's hopes of a return to the Champions League - for a tenth consecutive season - next year, now rest solely on the outcome of their European final showdown with Bayern Munich on May 19.

With that game at the Allianz Arena - the Bundesliga giants' home stadium - fast approaching, Di Matteo wants to return to winning ways against relegated Rovers on Sunday, to give his side the perfect preparation before they jet out to Germany.

"We have had very intense games, with the last one three days ago," he continued. "We have played every three days since I have been in charge and it has been a big ask, a big demand on everybody.

"I thought that with fresh legs and new energy in the team we could have had a better chance. We have had 37 games to rack up points, not just tonight.

"We want to finish our last game well to go into the final with a positive mood."

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Roberto Di Matteo

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