Even the most ardent Chelsea fans would have a job convincing themselves that they deserved anything more than they got against Manchester United.
The Blues simply didn’t play at the same tempo as Jose Mourinho’s players, and that showed in the 2-0 scoreline.
At first glance, it looked like a classic Mourinho tactical masterclass.
Antonio Conte looked stumped on the touchline and things aren’t going to get much easier for him when he faces Mauricio Pochettino on Saturday in the FA Cup.
That said, some circumstances were out of Conte’s control. Thibaut Courtois was injured and Asmir Begovic could have done better for Ander Herrera’s goal.
It’s also transpired that several other players weren’t the picture of health either.
According to the Guardian, Chelsea blame the defeat on a virus which hit the camp days before the game.
Marcos Alonso was supposed to start but suffered another bout of the bug, while it’s also thought to have affected Diego Costa and Victor Moses, both of whom missed midweek training sessions.
It certainly explains a lot about Costa’s performance. Conte was forced to rethink his defence in Alonso’s absence, moving Cesar Azpilicueta onto the left.
Chelsea will be hoping to put the result behind them at Wembley, but they can have no excuses if they slip up again.