Basel: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho accepted that he got his team selection badly wrong after his side were beaten 1-0 by Basel at the St Jakob-Park on Tuesday.
Mohamed Salah`s solitary strike with three minutes remaining gave the Swiss champions their second win over the London club in this season`s Champions League, although Chelsea still clinched their place in the last 16 thanks to Schalke`s goalless draw with Steaua Bucharest in Romania.
That meant it was job done for Chelsea, who came to Switzerland with the aim of ensuring qualification with a game to spare in Group E, but Mourinho was unable to muster a smile after watching a substandard performance.
"We don`t go through because we got a result, we go through because Schalke did not get a result, and for me it`s not the same," said the Portuguese.
"In the end, we qualified, which is our first objective, and now we have the last match at home to get the result to finish first," he added, with Chelsea knowing that a win at home against Steaua on December 11 will guarantee them top spot and secure, in theory, an easier draw in the next round.
Mourinho was quick to praise Murat Yakin`s Basel side for their display - which followed a 2-1 victory in London in September - but he acknowledged that his decision to make just one change to the team after Saturday`s 3-0 win at West Ham was wrong.
"I want to praise Basel. They won because we were sleeping in the last minute. But they won also because they were the best team and deserved to win," said the former Real Madrid boss, who dropped Eden Hazard for Willian.
"I think from the first minute I was getting signs that my team was tired. My team paid the price today of the international week, where I was afraid of the reaction in the game against West Ham.
"Maybe because that game was so important for us, the whole team focused a lot, and everybody made a good individual and collective performance.”
"Tonight we made a big mistake in the first second of the game, immediately. After that, we made mistakes defensively, we made mistakes with the ball, we lost easy passes, we lost every second ball, late decisions, people thinking late, and we finished with a ridiculous goal.”
"It is not the kind of game where we are upset with the players, because I think I understood, and I maybe should have made more changes."
Chelsea begin a run of nine games in December with a home clash against Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday, and new faces will come into the side for that game.