TONY PULIS found it hard to accept that Stoke City’s long unbeaten home run came to an end with such a crushing defeat at the hands of European champions Chelsea.
Pulis felt that the margin of their first defeat home defeat in 18 Premier League matches was harsh on his side who were very much in the game for more than an hour.
Two own goals from Jonathan Walters contributed to City’s downfall before Chelsea wrapped up the emphatic victory with further goals from Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard.
“I don’t think that was a 4-0 today. The lads certainly didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of such a heavy defeat because I thought we did well for an hour,” said Pulis.
“The second goal killed us, it was a soft goal to concede. Up until that point, I felt we were unlucky to be a goal behind, but it was one of those days when things didn’t go for us.
“For me to be standing here talking about a 4-0 defeat is very hard to take. It’s certainly not a fair reflection of our performance because up until the second goal I thought we were the better team and certainly looked the more likely to score just after half-time.”
He added: “Had the referee stuck with his decision to give us a penalty when Matty was brought down and we’d equalised then, the impetus would then have been with us.
“Matty was offside in the build-up to that, so the assistant referee got it right. But had that decision gone our way, then we might have been talking about a different outcome.
“As well as the second goal being a dreadful one to concede, I was disappointed with the decision to give them a penalty for their third goal. Huthy put his hand on Mata’s shoulder and his legs have collapsed under him. He went down far too easily for it to be a penalty.”
Pulis had consoling words for Republic of Ireland international Walters who was unfortunate to score two own goals and then missed a penalty right at the end.
“Jon has been fantastic for this Club from the day he joined us,” added City’s manager. “He’s had a day today which he will certainly remember, but he’ll be fine.
“He had to try and make the first clearance with his head because Mata was right behind him, so he would have scored anyway. For the second one, I feel that Asmir should have come and dealt with that one. Jon shouldn’t have been left in that position.
“It was just one of those days. It looks like a 4-0 drubbing today, but it wasn’t a drubbing, and we are desperately disappointed with the final outcome.”