Di Matteo Filled With Admiration
‘It was an incredible game,’ said an outwardly composed Di Matteo an hour after the final whistle.
‘There were so many events. I am very happy but most of all pleased for the players because they deserve this. They have had a difficult season and they seem to be able to do something special when they need to. This seems to be the DNA of these players.
‘We seem to find some reserves from somewhere,’ he added. ‘Even after the first leg we still weren’t favourites and then had all the difficulties you can imagine, and against Barcelona as well. It is just incredible.
‘All the odds were against us. We had to change one centre-back and then the other was sent off, so we had to shuffle the whole defence and then there was the penalty and the comeback. It was good to watch for neutrals but not for us.’
The interim first team coach had no doubt what had been the main turning point in the game.
‘Ramires‘s goal just before half-time gave us the lifeline and belief, that was a crucial moment.
‘Barcelona are the best, they are amazing, but the way we defended we showed a lot of desire to go through, and we had a little bit of luck as well which you need.’
Di Matteo reported that Terry was very disappointed to be missing the Final, along with Ramires who was booked for dissent, Branislav Ivanovic booked for scuffing the penalty spot and Raul Meireles carded for a foul. He said he could forgive his players making mistakes given the immensely intense fixture schedule they are negotiating.
‘We have lived through this game and the matches against Napoli and Benfica and have always shown the determination to reach this Final.
‘For the moment we will enjoy this night and then we will see which players are going to be available for the Final. We have a good squad which we have been using and we will put a strong team together that will make Chelsea proud.’