Willian reflects on debut loss to FC Basel

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Chelsea debutant Willian got his Stamford Bridge career off to a disappointing start as his side succumbed to a stunning 2-1 loss to FC Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

His compatriot Oscar opened the scoring moments before the half-time whistle, but the Swiss visitors managed to turn the match on its head courtesy of goals from Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller.

However, Willian insisted he was pleased with his first outing despite the disappointing result and urged his teammates and fans not to lose focus.

“It was nice to make my debut for one of the biggest clubs in the world, although clearly it would have been even better if we had managed to win,” said the 25-year-old.

“But this happens in football. We have to lift our heads and go after victory in our next games.”

The Brazilian, who played 67 minutes, was one of few shining lights for the Blues in their return to Europe’s premium club competition since crashing out of the group stage last season.

His impressive debut invited an influx of encouraging messages from fans via Twitter, but the midfielder reiterated that impressing Jose Mourinho must remain his first priority.

“In every game and every training session I want to demonstrate [to Mourinho] that he can trust me,” he added.

“That is what I aim to do throughout the season. There are always nerves ahead of a debut, but I managed to show a little bit of my game.”

Willian, who arrived from Ukrainian Premier League giants Shakhtar Donetsk for £32m in the summer, brought much delight to Chelsea fans as he signed for the club after he appeared certain to join London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the abundance of creative talent already at Mourinho’s disposal raised doubts over the necessity of his acquisition. The Brazilian faces a fierce battle with Oscar, Eden Hazard, André Schürrle, Juan Mata and Kevin De Bruyne for one of three attacking midfield roles in the Blues’ 4-2-3-1 system.

In his favour, Chelsea often struggle to break down compact sides and depend on the genius passing of Mata, Oscar and Hazard to open up stubborn defences. Willian offers a more direct threat from wide positions compared to his midfield competitors – a notable attribute that should earn him plenty of minutes in his debut Premier League season.

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