'We offered to shake hands, we did our part' - Di Matteo salutes Chelsea players in Loftus Road handshake episode

The Italian hailed both his and the QPR player for their professional handling of the situation and Mark Hughes insisted that his side are now heading in the right direction

Roberto Di Matteo was proud of the way his Chelsea players handled the John Terry and Anton Ferdinand situation “professionally”.

The game against QPR almost played second fiddle in the build-up as the attention was focused solely on if the two defenders would shake hands with each other ahead of kick-off.

Ferdinand ended up snubbing both Terry and Ashley Cole – who was a defence witness at the July trial – and Di Matteo was perfectly happy with the conduct of his own squad.

“I have to say both sets of players showed a great attitude this afternoon. They focused on the football and played the game in the right spirit,” he told reporters.

“Our players handled the situation today very professionally.

“We offered [to shake hands] We did our part, if other people don’t want to that’s their decision.

“I think we should shift the focus to the football side, not the handshake before and the handshake after.”

The game did eventually take centre stage and Di Matteo's only disappointment was that his side could not put the finishing touches to their chances.

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He added: “The only disappointment is we didn’t score the goals from the chances we created. Coming to Loftus Road is always difficult because of the history and the rivalry between the clubs.

"One goal would have been enough for us to win the game. Certainly the incident with Terry and Nelsen looked a stonewall penalty to me. I’m not sure if the referee didn’t see it. On the Hazard one, there was contact but maybe the referee didn’t feel there was enough.

"It’s a difficult job to be a referee - it’s easy for us to watch it after the game.

"We were very concentrated and on another day, with the penalty incident and the chances we created, we would have scored. It’s the first game we haven’t scored and normally we do score.”

QPR boss Mark Hughes insisted after the game that his side were the better of the two, in constant control throughout, which shows positive sign of their progression.

He said: "I thought we were excellent in terms of control of the game, that augers well for the future given we were up against the European champions.

"In terms of an upgraded performance, that was as good as we could expect today.

"We were always looking to try and win the game. As a performance, it’s an improvement on what we produced against Man City.

"We’re going in the right direction. It’s only a matter of time before we get three points on the board.”

Hughes also took time to sympathise with seemingly ousted goalkeeper Rob Green, whose position as first choice has been challenged by new signing Julio Cesar.

"It’s difficult for Rob because we’ve put him in a situation we didn’t think he’d be put under,”  he continued.

“We had the opportunity to get one of the best goalkeepers in the world and his performance today showed it was the right decision to bring him in to the team.”