Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has highlighted key defensive errors as being key to his side's 4-0 Premier League lashing at the hands of champions Chelsea. The hosts played positive football for large stretches of the game, but their lack of penetrative success coupled with some shocking defensive mistakes saw the side trounced by a rampant Blues side.
Speaking in the wake of the humbling results, via Sky Sports, Hughes expressed his frustration in the scoreline, taking time to salute the impressive hat-trick scored by Chelsea striker Álvaro Morata, as well as considering the other factors that lead to his side's dramatic defeat. Hughes stated:
"We made catastrophic errors from the first minute. Morata had an excellent day in terms of his chance conversion. I think he had about four shots and scored three goals - that is the quality you're up against.
"That put us on the back foot but we were never disappointed, after that we kept going and played really well and asked questions of them."We had a number of chances flashing across their box in the first half and then, unfortunately, we made another mistake and it was 2-0.
Hughes also highlighted the defensive crisis that the club find themselves in, which appeared to many onlookers to be key in the side's worryingly disjoined shape at the back. In addition to this, the Welsh manager contended that the result flattered the visitors to an extent. Hughes claimed:
"We kept going up until the point in which we lost another centre-back - that's our whole senior contingent of centre-backs missing through injuries now. We were very much in the game until that point, Chelsea were happy to see the game out at 2-0 but the last two goals put a little bit of gloss on it for Chelsea, I don't think it's a true reflection of how the game passed."
Despite impressive home results against Arsenal and Manchester United, Stoke City now find themselves in a spot of bother - lying in 15th place in the Premier League with just five points, having won only one of their opening five matches.
The Potters face Southampton at home next weekend, and will be looking to kick-start their season with a big win against the Saints.