Guus Hiddink has backed his Chelsea side despite losing 3-0 to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge following a hat-trick from Sergio Aguero.
The victory lifted City to third above Arsenal in the Premier League table, while Chelsea who were reduced to 10 men after Thibaut Courtois was sent off, are 10th.
In his post-match reaction, Hiddink however described it as a disappointing result.
“I don’t fully agree with that (Chelsea lacked fight),” Hiddink said.
“If you play against intelligent players it is very difficult to get into duels and get into a fight.
“There was no lack of fighting spirit. When you have intelligent (opposing) players playing around you, it is difficult to have those duels.
“Of course it is a bad defeat. But we were playing against a very strong team. Not for nothing are Manchester City in the last four in Europe.
“We made some mistakes. We had control in the first half but were warned they could harm us on the counter-attack and that is what they did to score after our corner.
“The second half I think was similar. We were in control but we did not have the ultimate ‘bite’ to kill it off.
“Of course when you are 2-0 down against a team with a lot of experience it is very difficult, and then we got a red card.
“We are disappointed, but that (City) team is very experienced.”