Graham Potter felt his players competed well against a top Manchester City side but that they just fell short in the decisive moments.
Riyad Mahrez’s goal just after the hour settled a tight Premier League contest at Stamford Bridge in which the Blues lost Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic to injury within the opening 20 minutes, while Carney Chukwuemeka hit the woodwork with our closest chance before the break.
Afterwards, Potter assessed an improved display from his players amid difficult circumstances.
‘It was a much better performance when you consider we lost Raheem and Christian,’ he said.
‘The lads gave everything, it was spirited and we had some opportunities against a top team.
‘I liked what we tried to do against a top side. We were competitive and had spirit on the pitch, courage in attack and took responsibility at the back. Apart from the result, as we hate to lose, I’m proud of the players.’
Potter was asked about the early injuries to Sterling and Pulisic…
‘It is tough at the moment and certainly doesn’t make it any easier. I feel for the boys of course as it’s one of those times but we have to stick together.
‘It was disappointing to lose the guys early on but the players that came onto the pitch gave everything and that’s all you can ask for.
‘It’s too soon for an update. Raheem was with his first action of the game with a back-heel and Christian had some contact on his knee so fingers crossed it’s not too bad.
‘Mason Mount also had a kick yesterday in training, he’ll hopefully be okay for the weekend. I’ve never experienced anything like it but we just have to carry on.’
There were three teenagers on the pitch at the end and Potter had words of praise for their impact…
‘Lewis [Hall] and Omari [Hutchinson] are young players that are just starting out, and Conor gave everything when he came on, so it’s nice to have that personality on the bench.’
Denis Zakaria’s performance was a highlight for Potter…
‘I thought he was really good. Defensively he covered such ground, won the ball back, gave everything in terms of duels, was brave with the ball and found solutions. He was a positive of the evening.’
Finally, Potter reflected on our recent difficult run of form…
‘You have to take responsibility when we’re not playing well but at the same time you hope people look at the whole context in terms of what we’ve had to deal with.
‘Emotions are high. We’ll try to ride out the storm and I think the crowd appreciated the performance and were behind the team tonight. Our supporters were fantastic and got behind the team in a great way.’