Sarri says that Chelsea are not contenders yet

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Sarri talks about his philosophy

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri believes that the club aren’t title contenders at present. The Blues registered their second successive Premier League win by edging Arsenal 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at Stamford Bridge. Pedro gave Chelsea the lead before Morata doubled it. However, the Gunners scored two within four minutes to level things up. The scorers were Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi. Then, 9 minutes before the end, Marcos Alonso netted the winner.

Despite the win, Sarri admitted that he wasn’t complete thrilled with his team’s performance. When he was asked if he saw Chelsea as potential title contenders, Sarri said, “Not in this moment. We did very well in the last 25 minutes today, but I think that we have to work, we have to improve in the defensive parts, and I am not talking about only the defenders.

The defensive phase of all the team, all players. Because if we press very high, we are able to do well. But in the moment where we are not going to press in the other half, we are in trouble. So I think we have to work and need to improve. I think we have done very well for 75 minutes. 15 minutes from maybe the 30th-minute was horrible. We lost the distances I think, we were not able to cover the last third, or press as a team, only one player to player.

I think that the players were very good in the second half. It was not easy in the final part of the first half. We want to defend by looking only at the ball. We have to stay very compact and need to press on the other half. In that 15 minutes, we were not able to do this, so we were in trouble.

We have to improve because I think we did really very well in the first 25 minutes today, but we need to continue to press and press and press in the other half. Otherwise, for us it may be a problem. I hope we will be able to play 90 minutes like the first 25 in two months.”

Club talisman Eden Hazard was once again benched but he did come on as a second half substitute. Sarri hopes that Hazard will be a starter for the club within the next 15 days at most. He said, “It’s clear. He is a great player, but I think that in this moment he is not able to play for 90 minutes, so I think that it was better for 25, 30 minutes when the intensity of the match is going down. But I hope, one more week, maximum two weeks, he will be able to play for 90 minutes.”

Chelsea’s next Premier League fixture is against Newcastle United next Sunday.

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