Roberto di Matteo remains confident his Chelsea side can finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League despite their loss to Manchester City. Carlos Tevez came off the bench to inspire City to a 2-1 win, di Matteo’s first loss as interim Chelsea boss.
“Are we confident of making the Champions League? Absolutely,” he said. “We still believe and we still have confidence we can make it. We’d like to finish at least fourth. We will try to do that,” he added. “If we can manage anything better, then that is a bonus.”
Chelsea took the lead at the Etihad Stadium when Gary Cahill’s shot deflected in off Yaya Toure, but City rallied after the introduction of Tevez after five months away.Sergio Aguero levelled from the penalty spot after Michael Essien handled a Pablo Zabaleta shot, before Tevez exhanged passes with Samir Nasri, who clipped in the winner.
The defeat leaves Chelsea in fifth place, five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who arrested a run of defeats with a late equaliser against Stoke.
Chelsea face Tottenham at home on Saturday.
“We are disappointed because we think we deserved to get something out of the game,” said di Matteo. “It is difficult for every team that comes here but we defended very well. “City’s penalty was a harsh decision but probably the right one because it did hit Michael Essien on the arm.
“Essien was very close to the ball, so it was impossible for him to disappear, but it was handball. “It was a setback for us but we look forward to the future,” added di Matteo. “We are closer to third place now than we were 10 days ago so we are heading in the right direction.”
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