Neil: “We frustrated Chelsea”

Neil: “We frustrated Chelsea”

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Norwich City boss Alex Neil has said that one blip was responsible for his side’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea earlier today. 

A quick Cesc Fàbregas freekick led to Diego Costa turning his man and firing the winner just after the hour.

Speaking to Norwich City TV soon after the final whistle, Neil believes it was one slip in concentratation that ultimately was the difference between a positive and negative result.

The way we set up – the gameplan and strategy we came with – worked well. We frustrated Chelsea for large parts of the game,” said the Canaries’ boss.

The free-kick I’m disappointed with. I didn’t think it was a foul initially, but not only that, we didn’t recover quickly enough. Once they got the goal, all of a sudden you’ve got to try to be the aggressor and that’s difficult to do.

“In the first half in particular, we looked really threatening on the break. We had a couple of opportunities, Seb (Bassong) had a really good chance at the back post.

“In the second half, I don’t think our use of the ball was as good as it was in the first half, which meant we didn’t get out as often as we’d like.”

Neil however thinks that bad luck may have had a part in the slender defeat, City’s seventh of the season, after Robbie Brady had a strong penalty shout turned down by referee Craig Pawson.

We certainly should have had a penalty,” the Scot said.

Robbie’s going into the box, and Willian comes from the wrong side and goes into the back of him.

“Those types of decisions haven’t gone our way this season so far. It (a converted penalty) would have given us something to hold on to, and that’s the biggest disappointment.”

While the Canaries’ best opportunity fell to Bassong in the opening period, John Ruddy was called into action a number of times as the Blues put pressure on the visitors’ goal.

With this in mind, Neil was quick to praise his goalkeeper’s performance:

I thought he pulled off some good saves. I thought the one from (Nemanja) Matic was the pick of the lot.

“The other ones I would have expected him to save, but he did it well. John can be happy with his days work, as can the rest of the players, but we just need to make sure we try and cut out those lapses in concentration.”