Steven Schumacher's key quotes after Plymouth Argyle's defeat to Chelsea
Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Plymouth Argyle boss Steven Schumacher faced the press on Saturday afternoon following his side’s 2-1 defeat to European champions Chelsea.

The 37-year-old was adamant that his side put everything they had into the performance. “Everyone has had to work really hard all week to set the team up and try to be organised,” Schumacher revealed.

“We asked the players to give us everything out there and not leave anything in the tank because we were going to have to work really hard to contain Chelsea. I thought they all done brilliantly and they should be really proud of themselves.

“Each and every one of them, to a man, stuck to the task. They gave everything that they have got.”

Argyle came into the match 47 positions behind their hosts in the Football League system, but they took a shock lead after just eight minutes when Macaulay Gillesphey steered home a wicked cross from former Chelsea man Jordan Houghton.

It was not to last, though, as Chelsea’s relentless plundering turned the tie around. After striking the woodwork on three occasions, the Blues finally drew level on 41 minutes when Cesar Azpilicueta tapped home a cross from Mason Mount.

Plymouth defended valiantly, and forced the match into extra time. In the added minutes of extra time’s first half, the hosts sealed the win as Marcos Alonso poke home off a riveting cross from Kai Havertz.

“We showed little glimpses of quality at times,” Schumacher continued, “especially the set-piece delivery which was good.

“We knew that it was going to be a real hard day out of possession. We knew that Chelsea were going to cause all sorts of problems, whoever they played in their team, and they did.”

The Pilgrims were given space to play their own game towards the end, as Chelsea sat back to preserve their lead. Having come off the bench, sprightly forward Ryan Hardie was bundled over in the box by Malang Sarr and a penalty was awarded five minutes from time. Hardie stepped up to take the spot-kick but saw his effort saved.

“We are disappointed, obviously, we didn’t get through especially having a penalty so late on which would have taken it to a shoot-out and who knows from there, but overall it was a good day.”

Schumacher was pleased with the display from young goalkeeper Michael Cooper, who made nine saves as the Chelsea onslaught raged on for nearly two hours.

“They were taking shots from outside the box. I know they hit the bar a couple of times and the post but if they are on target we expect our goalkeeper, who is top class, to make some good saves.

“We did really well and I’m gutted we didn’t take it to penalties, but as the manager I can be really pleased with them because everything we asked they tried, and they did their best.”

Argyle are back in league action on Tuesday night, when they hit the road again to face Crewe Alexandra.

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