• But manager says draw at tough venue is an acceptable result
• He adds the players 'give everything' and 'I cannot be critical'
José Mourinho was left to bemoan a missed opportunity and admitted Chelsea are "not a team who kill opponents" after the Premier League leaders squandered a lead against Galatasaray to leave their Champions League aspirations in the balance.
Aurelien Chedjou's second-half goal cancelled out Fernando Torres's sixth in five starts to ensure these teams go into the second leg of their knockout tie level. The scenario is rosy compared with the tasks confronting the other three English clubs still in this competition, who must all retrieve 2-0 first-leg deficits, yet there was an acceptance that Chelsea might have secured more.
Mourinho admitted this was not the first time this season that his players had let early authority slip and were made to pay. "That's our team, that's our team," he said. "Some other teams have three chances and score three goals. We have five and score one. This is not a criticism of the strikers, like sometimes people think. It's just the profile of the team we have. We create but we arrive in the last third of the pitch and the last decision – the correct pass, the right movement – is something that is not right at the moment.
"We are not a team who kill opponents. We are paying for that in the Premier League, losing points, and now in the Champions League we might have got a different result. But they all give everything. They fight for each other, work for each other, have tactical discipline. So I cannot be critical. They got a very acceptable result in a stadium where it's difficult to play and difficult to win. I think they did a good job."
Torres, making his first start since 11 January, scored the first goal by an English club in seven hours and 58 minutes in all European competitions – stretching to 12 December – having been preferred to Samuel Eto'o, with the Cameroonian keen to stress he had no issue with his manager after private comments made by Mourinho were broadcast in France. "I've no problem with Mourinho," said the veteran forward, though it was Torres who caught the eye here before tiring late on.
"Nando is having a very acceptable season," Mourinho said. "He had two injuries in his best moments but was doing quite well and scoring a few important goals for us in between. Also in the Champions League, against Schalke in a game that was crucial for us. Today he gave a lot but obviously the gasoline finished and I had to change him, so we lost a bit of power in attack."
Galatasaray could point to their late rally, which salvaged a home draw, as cause for optimism before the return leg when Didier Drogba, who showed flashes of his old power here, will return to Stamford Bridge for the first time.
"We played with fear in the first 25 minutes and conceded a lot of space," said their manager, Roberto Mancini. "In London it will be a difficult game. But after our second half the players probably understand we can go through. It will be difficult, but that second half was really important for us. After this game we have a 40% chance to go through. We have more chance now than before the game."
That last comment was put to Mourinho. "I'm not good at maths," he added. "And football is not maths. If football was maths, I'd be coaching in the Third Division. Because football is not maths, I coach Chelsea."