Chelsea are not title contenders yet– Maurizio Sarri
Written by: Neelav Chakravarti
The Blues have won all their Premier League fixtures this season.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has stated that the London club is not a potential title contender yet, could have to improve in terms of pressing all over the pitch. The Blues beat Arsenal in a 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at home, but let the Gunners exploit them at crucial moments.
Unai Emery's team had several clear-cut chances during the first half, and the former Napoli coach didn't seem too happy with that. When asked if he saw his Premier League team challenging for the title, "Not at 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 the players. Because if we press very high, we are able to do well. But at 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."
He further added, "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," he quipped.
Talisman Eden Hazard came on as a substitute against Arsenal on 18th August 2018 and had an excellent impact on the game.
Regarding the Belgian, the gaffer said, "It's clear. He is a great player, but I think that at 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, a maximum of two weeks, he will be able to play for 90 minutes."
Published: Sun Aug 19, 2018 02:35 PM IST