Despite defeating Juventus 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, new Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink said the performance was not as satisfying as the result.
Given a warm reception on his return to Stamford Bridge, Juve coach Claudio Ranieri admitted he would have preferred his team to play worse and taken something from the game.
“I am satisfied with the result but over the whole game I cannot be satisfied,” said Hiddink. “We started off very well and opened them up through the wings but after we scored we dropped back too far and allowed Juventus to play in the spaces between our attack, midfield and defence.
“If we had continued the way we played in the first 20 minutes then we would have been on the edge of scoring another goal. We did not control the game very well in the second half and allowed Juventus to dominate. They created danger but not clear-cut chances.
“Of course it is good to have a clean sheet and now Juventus have to try and score over there. It will be difficult [for us] because they are a balanced team. We have the smallest advantage and if we try and play as we can over there we can build on that.
“(Goalscorer) Didier Drogba has responded very well and it is good to have him in that central position because it is always difficult to play against him. Both he and [Nicolas] Anelka are disciplined in what we are asking from them. From the first day I arrived, Drogba has enjoyed training and worked hard.
Juventus coach, Claudio Ranieri, rued the fact that his team’s performance was not rewarded with an away goal.
“We knew this was always going to be a difficult game and that’s why scoring an away goal would have been so important,’ he said. “It would have been a lot better for us if we had managed to score but it wasn’t to be.
“Talking to the players in the dressing room afterwards they were happy with the performance and said that [bearing in mind the importance of the fixture] it was one of our best performances. But to be frank I would perhaps have preferred not to have played so well and to have got a result.
“We are aware that Chelsea are getting better results away from home and that again underlines why the away goal was so important. We wanted to play at a high tempo from the start but unfortunately that wasn’t possible. Part of the reason was because Chelsea prevented us from doing that and also because we weren’t able to do it ourselves.
“I was extremely happy with the reception I got from the Chelsea supporters because it showed they hadn’t forgotten me. I spent four wonderful years here and I was happy [with the reception] partly because in football people forget things very quickly. I would like to thank them for their welcome and applause.”