Gary Cahill believes that referee Jonas Eriksson "would have played all night" to get Bayern Munich an extra-time equaliser after the German giants beat Chelsea on penalties to claim the Super Cup.
The Blues were seconds away from securing Jose Mourinho's first trophy since his return to Stamford Bridge but Javi Martinez scored with the last kick to send the match to penalties.
Frank Ribery had earlier cancelled out Fernando Torres's eighth-minute opener to ensure tthat he sides finished level after 90 minutes, despite Ramires seeing red for a lunge on Mario Gotze, while Eden Hazard capped a superb individual display by putting the west Londoners back in front before Martinez equalised and Romelu Lukaku missed the only penalty of a high-quality shootout.
And Cahill argues that some of Eriksson's key decisions tilted the momentum of the match decisively in Bayern's favour, telling repoters: "Whether [Martinez's equaliser] was over the time or not, I don't know, but I'm sure the ref would have played all night.
"A lot of decisions didn't go for us but we thought we'd seen it out. I went up for one header and got booked straight away, so you can't even make any contact with players. In that sense it was difficult for us but I thought we did enough to win.
"Football is cruel at times. We dug in, especially in extra time. Going down to 10 men was always going to be difficult but I thought we'd done enough. Especially to concede like that, as well ... you'd rather he cut inside and whipped it into the top corner and you think: 'What a goal that is'.
"Instead it was a bit of miscontrol, a ricochet and it's just fallen into his path. On another day that would have just gone out of play."
|10/1||Chelsea are 10/1 with BetVictor to win the Champions League
"Very much so. That's always going to happen [after a red card]," he added. "They had their goalie on the halfway line! I'm sure, if the shoe had been on the other foot, we'd have attacked them and done things a lot differently to the way we did.
"I thought we defended well. I thought the team spirit and togetherness were there and we were seconds away from winning."
Before the match Petr Cech claimed that Chelsea are one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season and Cahill feels that their performance ensures that they will be taken seriously.
"The squad's definitely stronger," the defender continued. "We've got a great manager and everyone's pushing in the right direction. I'd have loved to see what would have happened if it were 11 v 11, because the gameplan was going in our favour.
"We put up a tough test for Bayern, a team that were devastating in all competitions last season, and I'm sure they're going to be one of the favourites again but I'm sure, if you ask their players, they'll say they had a tough night."
Follow Liam Twomey on