City were two goals to the good at half-time thanks to Liam Delap and Tommy Doyle’s superb strikes from distance, but Chelsea dominated after the break, twice hitting the post as Billy Gilmour and Myles Part-Harris scored to take a share of the spoils.
It was an end to end encounter at the Academy Stadium and Maresca felt his team, which included several Under-18s, struggled to maintain their physical intensity in the second half.
“I was quite happy with the first half then, second half, for many reasons we conceded a lot,” he said.
“At the end I think the draw was right for both teams, even after being 2-0 up and your feeling is different.
“I think we struggled physically in the second half. We played a hard game on Tuesday, with some players who wouldn’t play usually and they struggled today.
“We had some players who didn’t play for a long time like Felix [Nmecha] and Adrian [Bernabe], then to play two games in five days, it’s not easy.
“Also we had Romeo [Lavia] and Callum [Doyle], young players who did very well in both games but it’s normal that maybe they struggle a bit physically.”
In an absorbing Premier League 2 contest, in which both sides showed plenty of attacking intent, Maresca was particularly pleased with his side’s performance in the final third.
For all Chelsea’s second half superiority, City had chances to put the result beyond doubt and the Italian was left ruing a couple of missed opportunities that may have sealed the three points.
“I think for us it was a very good first half, scoring two goals and creating three or four more chances,” he added.
"Both chances were when we were 2-1 upon so it could have been 3-1 and then I think it would be complicated for them to recover the result.”
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