Hodgson vents frustration after letting Chelsea ‘opportunity’ slip


Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson couldn’t contain his frustration after his side’s poor start gifted Chelsea an easy ride at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at Selhurst Park after failing to endure an early Chelsea blitz. The Blues went two up early on with Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic causing havoc in the Eagles’ backline.

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Wilfried Zaha ran himself ragged from first minute to last, but barring a Christian Benteke header, Hodgson’s side offered very little.

Speaking to the BBC after the match, Hodgson said: “We know they are a good side, everybody knows that, but we can’t afford to play the way we did in the first half.

“Both of the first goals came about through balls lost near our own goal. Suddenly they find themselves 2-0 up after 10-11 minutes. We needed to defend well and make good decisions.

“But we came in at half-time 3-0 down. How many teams can come back from 3-0 down against this Chelsea team?

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“To give some credit the players did better in the second half and showed some fight in them but the bottom line is we played against a Chelsea team that we believed we could stretch and we’re on the back end of a 4-1 defeat and needed to do some last-ditch defending to keep it down to four.

“That was the theme of our message to the team that it wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t what we tried to do [in the first half]. We pulled one back and could have even gone away with a smaller margin defeat but we didn’t.

“It’s sad that this was an opportunity for us to take a point at least from the game but all we can do is congratulate Chelsea for their good performance and well deserved victory.”

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On the subject of their remaining fixtures with Palace seemingly destined to be safe from relegation, Hodgson added: “It’s a matter of personal pride for myself, the coaching staff and the players.

“They are very tough games. We could quite easily hide behind that fact. We know that when we do our jobs properly and do the job right, we can get results against these teams.

“It’s what has kept us in the league for three and a half seasons. Today we didn’t do anywhere near enough. I of course take responsibility for it but I’m pretty sure the players will accept that they let themselves down.

“I don’t know if we are good enough to beat Chelsea yet but we certainly did not show our best.”