Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Sarri not aiming to repeat Napoli formula at Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea's board are well aware of the issues in the squad Credit Getty Images
Cary Erickson | 12 August, 2018, 14:14

As well as brilliantly setting up the third goal of the afternoon for Pedro, the winger also embarked on a mazy run that took five Huddersfield players to stop him.

He was also involved in the move to win the penalty, as Pedro started the attack, allowing Jorginho to feed it into Ross Barkley with a perfectly-weighted pass and the England global flicked it into Marcos Alonso's path to earn the penalty.

Before the second goal, the Terriers had hit a post through Steve Mounie's header, but it was to be Sarri's and Chelsea's day. Maybe the performances in the first part of the season will not be in line with the potential of the squad. You can see his first Chelsea goal by clicking here.

"People have been saying not qualifying for the Champions League isn't good because you want to be competing at the highest level but I think it can help them if I'm totally honest".

Further, talking about his future now that former boss Conte has left the club, the Brazilian worldwide added, "I have my head here and I intend to continue in the club unless the club wants to sell me".

And while it nearly certainly wasn't Sarri's primary motivation for bringing in Jorginho, it is a shift that could be enormously positive.

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Then Kante popped up with his goal to prove his "no end product" critics wrong.

MF Ross Barkley, 7 - It's clear that Barkley is fully fit and the qualities he once displayed for Everton were very much in evidence as he played with composed intelligence in midfield. We have to improve in this month, then it might be hard with the national teams. He had a couple of routine saves to make, gathering a dipping long-range shot from Alex Pritchard in the first half, and falling on a tame header from substitute Laurent Depoitre in the second. Their play was much more fluid; they adopted the style of football Sarri likes his teams to play.

At the same time, they did enough to unsettle Chelsea in attack, smartly deploying their numerous physical players and targeting Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back in particular. Ultimately, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea's new £72m goalkeeper, had little to do.

"And I think the good thing about it, you look at Man City and you look at Liverpool".

But, given all he's said since moving to Stamford Bridge, Sarri is purely concerned with coaching and is looking to stamp an identity on his new squad as quickly as possible - and not necessarily the one from his last job.