Roy Hodgson watched Crystal Palace lose a fourth consecutive match on Saturday evening, having taken his side to Stamford Bridge to face a Chelsea team desperate to claw their way back into the top four.
The Eagles left the home of their London counterparts nursing a 2-1 defeat, possibly feeling hard done by after having a goal disallowed late on.
An early, deflected strike from Willian and a Martin Kelly own goal, both in the first half, saw to it that the Blues were victorious. However, Hodgson reckons that his team did give a good account of themselves.
“We have had three defeats against top teams but on each occasion, we haven’t discredited ourselves,” he said following the entertaining encounter (via londonnewsonline).
“In only one half of those six we have been below the level we believe we can reach, but the bottom line is that we conceded a late goal against Tottenham to take away a point and a 92nd-minute goal against Manchester United to take away a point.
"Today we did our level best to come back on level terms, and perhaps if the referee hadn’t seen what he perceived to be a foul we might have come away from this with a point.
“It’s a shame that we didn’t play the whole of the game as we did the second half.
“There was far too much difference both defensively and offensively and we paid the price coming into half time two goals down against a team of Chelsea’s quality. Their power and pace on the counter-attack was always going to be difficult.
Despite having Wilfried Zaha fit again, Hodgson started the player on the bench, bringing him on later in the second half. Zaha's impact was immediate, and he came up with the assist for Patrick van Aanholt's 90th-minute goal, yet the manager claims to have no regrets over his team selection.
“There are no regrets," he said regarding the winger. "The fact is being wise after the event, if we started him he would have broken down after 15 minutes – he has only had one training session – then you would miss him for the last eight games.
“We stood up the best we could. I would have preferred to have kept him on the bench longer but I was disappointed. We were not working hard enough, there was not enough threat and we didn’t pass ball well enough. It was too strong a temptation not to bring on a player of his quality on."