Villas-Boas: My Chelsea side were the better team at Old Trafford

Andre Vilas-Boas today made a vigorous defence of his Chelsea side after their first defeat of the season.

The Blues boss has clearly been stung by accusations his men were too open at Old Trafford as they slipped to a 3-1 loss that left them five points adrift of Manchester United.

And Villas-Boas, set to change the entire outfield team that started against Fulham for tomorrow's league clash with Swansea, launched a passionate counter-attack.

Villas-Boas said: "I am surprised that people have criticised us being for being naive and stupid at Old Trafford.

"What happened at Old Trafford was a negative result but you have to be fair and say that we were the best team. We were not the most efficient team but we were the best team.

"So I thought that was unfair, because we played with essence of football. It's strange that people who know about football don't know how to position themselves on what is best for football and best for fans."

Villas-Boas added: "It was an entertaining game. It's a pity that we lost but we were superior for 90 minutes. Now we're five points behind and have to lessen the distance.

"I don't take defeats personally. Chelsea lost the game and we were unsatisfied because lost game against title contender.

"It meant nothing else really. We had a good chance at Old Trafford to surprise everybody. I think we did that but we didn't come away with three points."

Villas-Boas confirmed Petr Cech had recovered from the head injury he sustained against Fulham but while Daniel Sturridge is ruled out after his knee knock, Didier Drogba is poised to return.

And the Blues chief said Swansea counterpart Brendan Rodgers, a former colleague on the Stamford Bridge staff under Jose Mourinho, should be feted for sticking with his own attacking principles.

He added: "Swansea are a team that plays fantastic football. There is, when you try to implement a philosophy like Brendan is trying to do, a dignity in the path he chooses because it is the difficult path for a team that needs points.

"Brendan doesn't relegate his philosophy to second place. He places a privilege good attacking football.

"There is a nobility of principles if you choose to obtain your objectives at a small club - even though Swansea is a city and a club which has a tremendous identification with the fans - and when do it there it is even more prestigious.

"When we were both here at the same time I never thought we might be back as Premier League managers. I never thought about that.

"For our paths to cross is just a  coincidence but it was good for us that we both felt the urge to start managing.

"It happened to me at Inter and Brendan when he was reserve boss at Chelsea and went to Watford. Meeting in the Premier League means things gone well for both of us and we will try to continue our clubs with more success."