Di Matteo defends Chelsea team selection after Liverpool defeat

Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has defended his team selection after Liverpool romped to a 4-1 victory that condemned Chelsea to a place outside the top four of the Premier League, the BBC has reported.

Di Matteo made eight changes to the side that defeated the same opposition only days earlier in the FA Cup final, retaining just Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry and Ramires. Goalkeeper Petr Cech and striker Didier Drogba were left out of the squad altogether while left-back Ashley Cole, midfielders Frank Lampard Juan Mata and winger Salomon Kalou were on the bench, each unused substitutes.

Di Matteo instead called upon the likes of Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge and Oriol Romeu, while Ross Turnbull was selected in goal and Hilario as the reserve goalkeeper. Di Matteo however pointed to the hectic end to the season Chelsea are experiencing that made it a necessity to chop and change the squad whenever he could.

He added: “I have no regrets. We’ve had very intense games, the last one just three days ago [the FA Cup final]. To get yourself up every three days, it’s a big demand on everyone. I thought with fresh legs and new energy we could have had a better chance. We’ve come so far because we’ve used all the energy and all the players we have in the squad.

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