Monday, 22 July, 2019

Chelsea players thought it was easy - Sarri

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez and Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri Maurizio Sarri replaced Rafa Benitez as Napoli boss in 2015
Cary Erickson | 13 January, 2019, 19:34

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez was proud of the way his players had pushed Chelsea hard but accepted they had been undone by a sublime goal.

According to the Mirror, Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang will look to test the Blues' resolve to keep Willian at the club, and could rival the interest of Barcelona, who had a £50m bid turned down earlier in the week.

"Today Jorginho was in trouble and on the bench there wasn't a player for that position so I need a player for that position".

Willian, who netted Saturday's victor, has been linked to a big-money move to Barcelona and midfielder Cesc Fabregas may also be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. "I need a player there so it depends on the club's decision, I can't do anything more".

Willian was unable to double his tally when, like Pedro before him, he was played through with a simple lofted pass, with Dubravka this time getting a touch to the attempted lob.

Chelsea are now assessing the position of Callum Hudson-Odoi amid the regular attempts from Bayern Munich to prise him away and the teenage graduate appears the likelier to leave the club this month.

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On his decisive goal and the win over Newcastle, Willian added: "I think it's always hard in the Premier League".

Once again, Sarri stubbornly stuck to his experiment with Eden Hazard as Chelsea's central striker despite the Belgian star's dislike of the tactic. "In this moment he is a fundamental player".

"We started well for 10 minutes but after the goal we thought "now it is easy", but it wasn't", Sarri said. "In my opinion, Willian has to stay with us because for us he is really a very important player, like Pedro. We need Odoi. We need Willian, of course".

The result leaves Chelsea just a point behind third place Tottenham, who have a game in hand, while Newcastle will end the weekend in the relegation zone.

With Chelsea fans beginning to lose patience at their team's latest spluttering home display, Willian lifted the mood in the nick of time with his superb second-half curler. We stopped [playing] for 25 minutes. "In the last five matches for us it really was very hard to score", he said.