We competed with the Barclays Premiership leaders throughout, passed the ball as well and had long spells of possession but couldn't break through a defence that has now conceded just eight goals in 23 games.
In the end, Frank Lampard's controversial penalty in the first half and second goal in second half injury time proved the difference.
"I think when you look at the first half-hour we played terrifically well," reflected Head Coach Martin.
"All the things we talked about before the game to give Duff and Robben problems, it's very difficult, but I think they had quiet games.
"We did well in midfield and tried to play from the back. We knew that we lacked the power a bit because we didn't have Kanoute so we had to play from the back and we did that.
"The only disappointment was that we didn't have a cutting edge.
"We weren't decisive and didn't create a lot in the final 30 yards. We deserved to do that because we played so well in midfield and the back.
"Look at the second half and they didn't really have a shot before they scored the second goal, we had to open up and we tried everything with Ledley King going up front and bringing Dean Marney on at right back and Mark Yeates on.
"Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe are terrific footballers but Chelsea have the best defence in England, they don't give away a lot and we probably had four or five half-chances and that wasn't enough for me.
"The way we played, against another team we would have created a lot of chances but didn't because of them."
Martin Jol conceded his only disappointment after the defeat against Chelsea was a lack of cutting edge.