Di Matteo still upbeat after Suarez equaliser

BIG SETBACK: John Terry goes down injured

BIG SETBACK: John Terry goes down injured

First published in Sport

ROBERTO DI MATTEO last night bristled at suggestions Chelsea were in the midst of another winter of discontent, despite seeing them throw away victory yet again.

The European champions made it three Premier League games without a win as Liverpool came from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

That saw Chelsea end the weekend three points adrift of Manchester United in third place, a fortnight after they were bidding to go seven clear at the top.

Blues boss Di Matteo did not take kindly to the tenpoint swing being pointed out, saying: ‘‘United came here, we had two sent off and they scored an offside winner.

That’s a big advantage for the opposition.

‘‘We’re still playing well and creating chances. We need to be a bit more clinical, to take our chances and finish the game off.’’ The Italian maintained his side were too good to suffer another bout of the winter blues, which has cost them dearly in three of the last four seasons.

‘‘We’re in much better shape than in previous years, and very close to our best,’’ he said. We’re still in the mix.

But the amount of games you play in this period has some kind of effect.’’ Chelsea wasted several chances to finish Liverpool off and were almost made to pay the ultimate price when the visitors went close to completing their comeback.

‘‘It was crucial to kill the game off,’’ Di Matteo added.

‘‘We had the chances to do that, but we missed opportunities and the goalkeeper made some great saves.”

The loss of John Terry to a serious-looking injury did not help Chelsea, who conceded the equaliser from a corner.

Di Matteo suggested it should have been disallowed for a Suarez push on Ramires.

‘‘It was a poor goal to concede,’’ he said.

‘‘We had our man marking the opposition and Ramires was with Suarez and he pushed him away to create that bit of space for himself to nod the ball in.”

Di Matteo insisted he had no intention of allowing Frank Lampard to leave in January amid reports the midfielder was set to quit for Chinese side Guizhou.

But he said Didier Drogba, who left Stamford Bridge for Shanghai Shenhua in the summer, would be welcome to train with his former club during China’s off-season.

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