‘We matched them man for man’ — Aston Villa boss explains why he lost to Chelsea

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Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has revealed that his side had a tactical plan of matching Chelsea and pressing them in the middle of the park.

It worked in the first half as Villa took advantage of Saul Niguez weak first half performance. However, the introduction of Jorginho at half-time helped spin the game to Chelsea’s favour.

For Dean Smith, he has claimed that his team’s missed chances was the major reason they didn’t beat Chelsea.

He said: “We felt we could go press them high and we felt we wanted to play in their half. They have excellent players who play through their sixes and the 10s come short and we tried to play them, man, for man in there and won the ball back on awful lot of occasions and didn’t take our chances when they came along.

“It was lost in the in the penalty box, most games are and that’s why they spent £94m on him, he can put one in the top bin like he did at the end there. It felt unjust but that second goal was a killer, we make a mistake and they capitalise and you play against a team 2-0 up who can stretch the pitch as wide as they want, however how much you change to press them becomes harder I thought it took the wind out our sails that second goal.

“Credit to our players, they showed heart and fight and never gave in. I’m pleased at the depth of the squad we went toe-to-toe, mistakes and missed chances cost us.

“Up until the second goal I was really pleased with the performance. We asked a lot of questions against a really good team and biggest disappointment coming away from here is that we didn’t take our chances when they came. I thought we were the better team first half, created some good chances, they’ve scored from a ball over the top, Kovacic skips two tackles and puts the ball through and Lukaku does what he does. But our response was excellent, the second goal changes the game somewhat.”

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