Group stages a learning curve for Tel Aviv, says Jokanovic


Slavisa Jokanovic insists he was not overly disappointed with Maccabi Tel Aviv's performance in the 4-0 defeat at Chelsea and says there were some "positives" to take away from the game.

The Premier League champions cantered home, with two goals in each half against a pedestrian Maccabi side.

After Eden Hazard had missed an early penalty, Willian put the hosts in front and Maccabi's hopes were effectively ended when Oscar converted from the spot on the stroke of half-time. Second-half efforts from substitute Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas sealed the win.

Jokanovic said: "This is a new competition for us. The first game we play away against one of the most important teams in the world.

"They dominated us and they deserved to win the game, but we must learn and over the next five years I expect us to improve.

"This is the Champions League, it's a different level. In front of us we are fighting against a very important and a very strong team."

Maccabi were played in the group stages for the first time in 11 years. And it showed.

"My team were probably a little bit impressed to begin with, with what was around them and we made a few mistakes," said Jokanovic.

"I expect a different game [when we play them again] and I expect a different result. But there is a long time in front of us before then."

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho told reporters that victory left him "feeling fantastic". He went into the game feeling the heat after a poor start to the Premier League season, but the emphatic victory sets his team up nicely for the weekend derby against Arsenal.

He said: "I am happy with the result and the performance. The same way I was not in hell with bad results, I am not in heaven we won a game.

"It was a good victory, you could see from minute one we were going to win the game.

"When you start a game you have to win and after five minutes you miss a penalty, it is an extra negative episode and our reaction was very good.

"Missing the penalty was a good thing to test the team, we must be really strong to believe and the players have played very well, they showed a good attitude, good with the ball, it was a good victory.

"Good individual performance helps the players' self esteem and confidence, good collective performances are also good.

"I know some experts will say Maccabi are not a top team, I agree, but they are a Champions League team and to beat a team you need to play well a nd we played well.

"We were good in the different phases of the game."

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