Sven-Goran Eriksson thinks City’s respect for Chelsea early on proved to be crucial in Saturday’s defeat at the City of Manchester Stadium.
An own-goal from Richard Dunne and Salomon Kalou’s strike on 53 minutes were enough for the Stamford Bridge outfit, but a spirited display by City between the two goals was praised by the Blues’ boss after the game.
Sven says, “You never like to lose games, of course, but it is easier to accept a defeat like this than it was a week ago. We started poorly, and we showed Chelsea too much respect in the first few minutes and allowed them get the chance they took to score.
“After that we played well, we fought with them and created more chances than they did in the first half. We should have scored, so it was a step forward from last week even though we lost. If we keep that spirit for the next five games, who knows? We could take a lot of points from these last few games.
“We came out well in the second half, but after keeping the ball well, we lost it and they scored on the counter attack. After that, it was tough, we tried but Chelsea had exactly the game that they wanted so they could sit back and counter attack when they wanted.
“If we had been as flat as we were a week ago, I really would have been worried about the future but I hope we show the same spirit next Saturday.”
The second half was marred by an injury to Nedum Onuoha, the defender being stretchered off after challenging John-Obi Mikel and damaging a shoulder as he hit the ground.
“The shoulder was dislocated,” Sven adds, “and then went back in. It was very painful and there is a wrist problem as well, he is in hospital and we don’t know how he is just yet. It’s a shame because he stood up to Chelsea today and had played excellently before then.”