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Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he’s happy with the performance of his lads following the Blues away win (the first since December 2018) against Malmo in the Europa League last night. Goals from Ross Barkey and Olivier Giroud were enough to seal a vital result in Sweden.

Sarri told journalists after the game: “I am happy because we played with a very good level of confidence,’ he said, ‘and that was not very easy after the last match. Today we had confidence because we moved the ball also inside our box. We played very well, the risk only came from set-pieces because Malmo are more physical than us”.

“We could score more but we conceded a goal because of a mistake,’ he added, ‘but today the level of application and attention was good. We made an individual mistake so I think we could win better. We had three or four goal opportunities at 2-0, so we could have killed the match, but I am happy with the confidence”.

He added: “If we concede a goal like this [the one tonight against Malmo] to a team like Man United, Man City and Tottenham, then you risk conceding three goals in 10 minutes, so we have to do better, but I think the performance was a good performance”.

Source: www.chelseafc.com

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Chelsea are set to face Malmo in the first leg of Europa League last-32 at New Stadion tonight (kick-off at 8pm BST). Maurizio Sarri named a 23-man squad which traveled to Sweden yesterday:

GOAKEEPERS – Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero, Jamie Cumming

DEFENDERS – Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Davide Zappacosta, Ethan Ampadu, Andreas Christensen, David Luiz, Emerson

MIDFIELDERS – N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Ross Barkley

STRIKERS –  Eden Hazard, Willian, Pedro, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Gonzalo Higuain, Olivier Giroud

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Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane emerged as a potential candidate to replace Maurizio Sarri, should the Italian boss fail to gain the trust of Chelsea board facing sack from his role, according to several reports in England.

The Frenchman, who won three Champions League titles in a row with Los Blancos, left the club last summer and is believed to be considering the prospect of working in the Premier League in a near future.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer widely improving Manchester United’s results (despite their recent UCL defeat against Paris Saint-Germain) a move to Old Trafford looks unlikely before the end of current season.

We reported yesterday Maurizio Sarri should be given at least an additional month to persuade Roman Abramovich he’s the right man to lead Chelsea.

Maurizio Sarri has a month to gain the trust of Chelsea board

 

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Chelsea star Eden Hazard insisted Maurizio Sarri‘s style of play remains his favourite since moving to Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian told Chelsea’s official website: “All the managers I’ve played for have given me something,”

“From when I started with Claude Puel at Lille to now with Maurizio Sarri.

“They all see football in different ways, which is why I’m the player I am. They have all given me important advice. Mourinho was special, but the way Sarri and Garcia like to play is more like my philosophy of football.”

It is understood Hazard’s contract expires in June 2020, with Real Madrid heavily linked with a move to land him to Santiago Bernabeu next summer.

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Maurizio Sarri has a tight schedule to persuade Chelsea board he deserves to be confirmed as Blues’ manager despite recent and disappointing defeats at Vitality Stadium (4-0 vs Bournemouth) and Etihad Stadium (6-0 vs Man City).

Chelsea will face Europa League last-32 first-leg tie against Malmo on Thursday and the Italian manager sees on the horizon before the end of February both FA Cup (Manchester United) clash and Carabao Cup final (Manchester City).

Sarri will also have to cope with Premier League clashes against Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur, the team who gave Chelsea a “lesson” earlier in November before being eliminated from the Carabao Cup in January.

One month to save his job at Stamford Bridge, according to The Guardian.

While speculations over his future as Chelsea manager are growing up, Sarri told Sky in Italy he has not been in touch with club’s president Roman Abramovich in the recent weeks. “If Abramovich calls me, I will be happy” he said.

“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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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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DERBY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Frank Lampard manager of Derby County celebrates the win after the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Preston North End at Pride Park Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Derby, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Former Chelsea midfielder and current Derby County manager Frank Lampard has confirmed he remains focused on his job with the Championship amid reports linking him with a potential takeover at Stamford Bridge, with concerns growing up around Maurizio Sarri‘s role following 6-0 defeat at Man City.

Lampard, speaking at a press conference on Monday, told reporters: “My job is here,” 

“We’re working very hard and my thoughts are on Ipswich Town on Wednesday, and Brighton on Saturday.”

The England international also claimed he believes Blues can bounce back from their last humiliating defeat: “With my Chelsea hat on, 13 years as a player there, you have a feeling for it and it’s not nice, it’s not easy. It doesn’t happen to Chelsea much so when it does it’s a shock.

“But they’re going up against an incredible team and I had some time at Manchester City as well. I have some feelings for them. The work Pep Guardiola and their incredible squad have done is something special.

Lampard added: “For Chelsea it was a tough day. With all top teams the important thing is you come back strong, no matter what type of defeat. What makes top teams is resilience and Chelsea as a club will have it.”

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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri spoke ahead of today’s clash between the Blues and Manchester City, who bounced back from their unexpected defeat at Newcastle with two comfortable wins against Arsenal and Everton last time out.

The Italian boss, speaking at a press conference, said: “You know very well that the midfield of Manchester City is one of the best in the world, with Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, David Silva”

“Technically I think they have the best midfield in Europe at the moment so it will be very difficult to be in control of the match, but I think the match is more than just the strikers”.

Sarri added: “They are able to play if you can stop Fernandinho and I think we are able to play also if you stop Jorginho. We have options. Maybe they have more options than us because they have worked on this for three seasons, but I remember in Naples it wasn’t a big problem if there was a man on Jorginho, so I hope it will be the same here in the future”.

“Of course, we have another striker, but we can make other decisions and maybe we will play with a false nine. I have to decide, the situation is not unlike in the other matches”.

On his rival Pep Guardiola: “I expect his team to always want to be in control of the match and always be in possession of the ball, and they are able to do it so it is a very difficult match”.

“We are used to having the ball possession and today it will be very difficult, so maybe we will have to defend lower. We will try to play our football, but if they are able to play their football, of course you have to stay lower. In the first match, they were able to press us in our half, it wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity and I think this match will be the same.

“We were lucky to score and then in the second half, especially in the first 20 or 25 minutes of the half, they gave us spaces, so it was a little bit easier”.

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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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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Chelsea came back to winning ways after getting a 5-0 win against Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge earlier this afternoon.

Maurizio Sarri made four changes from the starting XI which suffered a disappointing away defeat at Bournemouth and was fully rewarded by his lads on the pitch.

First goals from Gonzalo Higuain, who scored twice, Eden Hazard‘s brace in style and David Luiz’s header from a corner were enough to seal a much-needed win and move back into the top four (Arsenal will face Man City tomorrow, kick-off: 4.30PM).

Higuain broke the deadlock in the first half, well assisted by midfielder N’Golo Kante before Hazard converted a penalty to make 2-0 at halftime. The Belgian was the main character in Chelsea’s third goal with 25 minutes left to go, then the Argentine striker gifted a masterpiece in the 69th minute as he curled a first-time shot from 20-yards-out and beat Huddersfield keeper Lossl.

CHELSEA (4-3-3) – Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, David Luiz, Alonso; Kante (Loftus-Cheek 83′), Jorginho (Kovavic 69′), Barkley; Willian, Higuain, Hazard (Hudson-Odoi 77′)

HUDDERSFIELD (4-5-1) – Lossl; Smith, Schindler, Kongolo, Lowe; Mbenza (Mounie 27′), Billing (Grant 66′), Bacuna, Mooy, Diakhaby (Pritchard 84′); Kachunga

Scorers Higuain 16′ 69′ Hazard 45+1′ 66′ David Luiz 87′

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he's happy with the performance of his lads following the Blues away win (the first since December 2018) against Malmo in the...