Romeu: Early goal cost us

By SFC Media time Sun 22 Apr Chelsea v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Oriol Romeu

Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final was decided by the finer details at Wembley.

Chelsea struck moments after half time and Saints were unfortunate not to level the scores before Alvaro Morata killed the tie nine minutes from the end.

For Oriol Romeu, speaking after the full-time whistle in the capital, they are the kind of episodes that must go in your favour to defeat the top sides in the Premier League.

“Once the top sides get in front it’s very difficult to get back into the match and create chances and score again," he said.

“We had a couple of chances but the ball just didn’t go in. We pushed forwards and had to take more risks, we did it, but we couldn’t score.

“(The disallowed goal) was a moment that could have changed the game; had it been given then things could have gone very differently. The referee did not see it that way but it’s too late now to regret decisions like that.”

 Following a dogged defensive showing in the first half, the game was finely poised for Mark Hughes’s men to step out and gain a better foothold in the contest. 

Olivier Giroud’s effort one minute after the restart made for an uphill struggle for Romeu and Saints, who never truly recovered despite threatening equalisers through Shane Long and Charlie Austin.

“The first half was hard," said Romeu. "We knew it would be that way. The second gave us more opportunities to find Charlie and Longy on the counter-attack, get them into good positions and support them. 

“Conceding the goal wasn’t what we wanted and it changed everything. Once you get to here you are dreaming of getting something and getting into the final. 

“The game wasn’t on our side. We did good things, we shouldn’t have conceded that early in the second half, it gave them so many options. When you get this far, you dream of getting something and reaching what would have been an amazing final.” 

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