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Spanish attacker Pedro explained Chelsea can implement Maurizio Sarri‘s ideas of football, even if sometimes this can be difficult and tricky.

All the team follows the idea of Maurizio: press really high, stay compact, and to create chances. With good possession, a lot of the ball. We can do this as a team,” Pedro explained. “But sometimes it’s so difficult to play in this way. It depends upon the opponents. City played very well, so it was so difficult to press, to create between the lines and to defend. But it’s Maurizio’s idea, and I prefer to press high when we recover the ball to create chances, not to wait for 90 minutes to recover the ball and run 60 metres to score the goal”.

Today’s match vs Malmoe in the first leg of Europa League‘s last 32, can be a good chance for the team to improve under this aspect: “In the last few games it’s not been in very good condition for the results. Now is a good opportunity tomorrow to win and get our best confidence. It’s not good for [Sarri] and the team because the results have not been good, but it’s good for us to change this dynamic now.” Pedro went on. “It’s good for us going into the final against City, the FA Cup against United. In the league, it’s difficult for us to hit our targets, but we’re still in four competitions. That’s good for us. It’s too early to analyse the season. We do that at the end of the season. Malmo is a good opportunity.”

 

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After Chelsea‘s heaviest Premier League defeat, Blues midfielder N’Golo Kante tried to find the reasons of Sunday’s tremendous loss with Manchester City.

It’s difficult to explain,’” Kante told Chelsea official website. “They outclassed us. It was a collective failing. They outclassed us from the first minute to the last minute, and they made the difference in the first minutes of the first half. It was very difficult to come back from that”.

All the Blues players, however have to react and the busy schedule of the next few weeks can help them to do so: “It’s a great disappointment and we have to react. It’s difficult to accept such a heavy defeat, but we have a lot of matches coming up to lift our heads and give us hope for good results at the end of this season”. the French midfielder went on. “We all have disappointment etched across our faces, but we`ve got a lot to learn from this, and hopefully we will not repeat the same mistakes in the future.”

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Chelsea faced an humiliating defeat in their last Premier League clash against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium, when Pep Guardiola‘s men were 4 goals ahead within just 25 minutes on.

Maurizio Sarri, whose position is under speculation following the 6-0 defeat, revealed to Sky in Italy he has not been in touch with club’s president Roman Abramovich in the recent weeks.

He said: “If Abramovich calls me, I will be happy. I never really speak to him, so I’d be happy to speak to him. That’s not a problem at all.

But I don’t know what to expect, to be honest with you. You always ask me questions about what the club will do. I don’t know. It will be your job to talk to the club.”

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Speaking during his pre-game press conference, Maurizio Sarri explained how his team can beat Manchester City on Sunday, as they did some weeks ago at Stamford Bridge.

I think that we were lucky because we scored in a very difficult moment of the match. Maybe we deserved to win in the second half, but we were lucky in the first as we scored in a difficult moment. In that match we defended really very well as they had only three goal opportunities, no more”. Sarri said. “It is not easy against City to give them three or four opportunities. They had scored 43 goals in 15 matches, so it is difficult and we need to defend well. We need to be very fast when we are able to recover the ball. They are able to press really very well so it is difficult to exit that situation. If we can do that then we can do well”.

The good news is that all Chelsea’s players will be available for Etihad Stadium’s game: “We have only some little problems with Odoi, he had fever for one day. Yesterday we had a little problem with Cahill, his back, but nothing serious”. Sarri revealed. “I think every player will be available. I hope so. We have to do another two trainings”.

Whatever will be the result of Sunday’s match, however, Sarri is aware that there is still a big gap between Chelsea and Manchester City: “I think we can fight for the top four this season, no more”. the Italian claimed. “We can win something, of course, but Premier League there is fighting between Manchester City and Liverpool. I think City are the best team in Europe, it is difficult to win the Champions League. I think that we need to work. You are the most competitive in the market or you need to work, I don’t know another way. We need to reduce the gap”.

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Chelsea and Manchester City will play the Carabao Cup final at Wembley at the end of February.

Before that, the two teams will play their Premier League game on Sunday at Etihad Stadium and, according to Pep Guardiola, also this game will be like a final: “This is a real final for us this weekend. If we are able to take these points, we are going to take a huge step forward.” Guardiola told reporters on Wednesday night in his post-game press conference after Manchester City win vs Everton.

Guardiola is also aware Maurizio Sarri‘s side is very strong and Chelsea are having more time to prepare the game: “We started well with Arsenal and Everton but now comes a really, really big test — a big bull,” Guardiola explained. “Chelsea is an exceptional team with seven days to prepare that game. We will try. We have to prepare well”.

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London derby for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup‘s semifinals: Maurizio Sarri‘s side will face Tottenham.

The first leg will be played at Wembley in the week commencing January 7, while the second leg is scheduled at Stamford Bridge two weeks later.

Tottenham booked their place in the semifinals defeating Arsenal tonight at Emirates Stadium, while Chelsea defeated Bornemouth thanks to an Eden Hazard‘s goal.

The other Carabao Cup‘s semifinal will be Manchester City-Burton Albion.

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Chelsea defeated Bournemouth  1-0 tonght at Stamford Bridge and advance to the Carabao Cup‘s semifinals.

The winning goal was scored by Eden Hazard, who replaced Ross Barkley during the second half, with an assist provided by Emerson.

Also Manchester CityTottenham and Burton Albion have advanced to the competition semifinals.

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Chelsea will face today Vidi in their last Europa League Group stage’s match.

The Blues are already sure to finish top of the table their group so Maurizio Sarri will make some rotations in his Starting XI.

For tomorrow we have three 2000 in the 18. Maybe Odoi will be on the pitch, I don’t know at the moment. Ampadu maybe on the pitch because of Cahill injury. Premier League, I don’t know. I don’t think in Manchester City, United, the other big teams there are 2000 with a lot of minutes. I hope in the future there will be a chance for Callum, for Ampadu. It is up to them I think”. the Italian manager explained.  “Odoi played in August, the Community Shield, two Europa League matches. Tomorrow maybe he is on the pitch so it is four opportunities. I think they have only to play very well in this opportunity. For the moment Odoi did it. Now I am looking forward to Ampadu. The future for them is very important. They have to improve every day. Technically they are very good.”

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Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger revealead how the Blues manager Maurizio Sarri inspired him and his team-mates before the Premier League game vs Manchester City.

[Sarri] was very calm and clear-minded. He spoke with us and made it clear that we have to believe in ourselves. He wanted us to go into the City game looking for the win”. Rudiger explained.  “We spoke together. We all knew what was going on, we didn’t have to lie to ourselves: the mentality was the problem”.

On the other hand, Sarri’s reaction was very different after Wednesday’s loss vs Wolverhampton: “After the Wolves game, he [Sarri] was terrifying,” the Blues defender said. “He was going crazy. But that was okay because we shouldn’t have lost this match”.

Also Antonio Rudiger admitted that vs Manchester City, Chelsea was able to find again a very important “feature” from last season:  “One of the things that made us strong in difficult moments last season was that we knew how to suffer. This season, because things were going so good, we were thinking, ‘We don’t need to suffer’”. Rudiger claimed. “Two teams, Tottenham and Wolves, proved us wrong. That’s why, against Manchester City, everyone saw a team that was ready to fight. We wanted to take the supporters with us and we did that. By ‘suffering’, what I mean is when we are having a tough time, we need to man up, keep our chins up and work. We were playing beautiful football at the start of the season, but that doesn’t mean you forget the ugly side of it: winning tackles, tracking back, doing everything defensively. Against Manchester City, we were very clinical, which was also important. That has been missing over the last month, but against City, we did something out of nothing.”

 

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Speaking to BT Sport after the win against Manchester City, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said:

“” because it is not very easy to win against Manchester City or Pep Guardiola.

“I am happy with the mentality of the team in this match.

“It is difficult for us to find motivation but when we are, we are a very strong team.

“Today we played with a very good level of application, determination and the right level of aggressiveness.

“My players have to continue like this. We had some problems in the first 30 minutes because Eden Hazard played like a striker for the first time and in the defensive movement we weren’t perfect.

“We started well in the second half and in the end we deserved to win. I think he [Hazard] had some problems only for the last 20 minutes.

“He played very well and deserved to score. I am really happy with his first match in this position.

“It is difficult to play in the defensive line when it is not working. It was working well today so it is easier for the centre-backs to play a good match.”

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