Friday, 24 May, 2019

Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea a 'step behind' Liverpool, says Blues boss

West Ham's Michail Antonio in action with Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger Cesar Azpilicueta aims to follow the example of Chelsea greats
Adrian Cunningham | 24 September, 2018, 05:00

They had one more chance when Snodgrass fouled Willian, a challenge for which he was booked, but the free kick came to nothing as West Ham held on to collect their fourth point from the last two games.

"They were cutting out very well every pass for [Olivier] Giroud, so we needed two wingers, I think".

"In my statistics we had seven opportunities against three", he said.

"It is not possible to win every match every match".

"If you play in the Europa League away, not at home, away, you can ask to play on Monday night after. In Italy it is normal". "Maybe three or four days [out]".

On the attacking front, the former Napoli boss said he was happy with star man Eden Hazard's display, despite a quiet afternoon from the Belgian.

The match fell into a similar pattern in the second half, Chelsea searching for openings around the West Ham box but Felipe Anderson and Yarmolenko looked risky when the home side broke forward.

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He also explained his decision to remove Olivier Giroud in the second half, replacing him with Spaniard Alvaro Morata.

Cech has ensured a hard start to the season as he struggled to adapt to new Arsenal manager Unai Emery's desire for his stopper to play the ball out to his defenders.

"[Chelsea] had a lot of possession because we allowed them to have the ball".

Sarri also revealed Pedro, who was left out of today's squad after suffering a shoulder injury on Thursday, is expected to be back in contention soon. Everton has won only one of its six league games, losing the last two. He is the best player in terms of off-the-ball movement.

While for a midweek tie at Anfield in the Carabao Cup both teams could field much-changed lineups, the top-flight meeting at Stamford Bridge on Saturday is already eagerly anticipated, though Sarri is wary of the threat that will be posed by Liverpool. "At this moment, I don't know".

Sarri's side are still part of the leading pack in the table, but he believes that it will take as long as a year of playing together before his side can match Jurgen Klopp's. Maybe spectacular but for us, difficult.