Claudio Ranieri accepted the blame for Chelsea’s second half capitulation to Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Ranieri admitted his team had “lost the plot” in the final 15 minutes after he introduced three second half substitutions.
“I was trying to win the match and I put on three strikers and then we lost the plot,” Ranieri said.
“It’s my fault. I accept this. After 30 years in football I know this. I’m the guilty one. With one player more I wanted to win the match and I tried to continue to have the match under control.
“Everybody wanted to do something but in the wrong way. Everybody wanted to run with the ball without playing one or two touches and pass the ball to the strikers. They were very, very nervous in the last 15 minutes.”
“Our biggest mistake was that we wanted to win the game too much,” he said.
“Without doubt the worst 45 minutes I have experienced in charge of Chelsea. It was like 10 Chelsea players against 11. It’s not easy to score two goals against this Monaco side and also they’re used to scoring. Only the best performance could help us.”
Monaco’s manager Didier Deschamps admitted that the introduction of Hasselbaink had helped his side.
“The fact that Chelsea had one more striker was beneficial in the end to us,” he said.
“I knew our defence was very strong so I kept two strikers to score goals and this is what happened.”
Deschamps dismissed Ranieri’s suggestion that Monaco were now clear favourites to reach the final.
“Claudio Ranieri is a very clever coach because he knows how to pressure his opponents,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say it is 50-50 but 51% to our advantage.” He promised not to come to Stamford Bridge intent only on keeping a clean sheet.
“We’re not only going to defend,” he said.
“Attack is going to be very important.”