Sarri's Tweaks Have Immediate Impact On Chelsea Fortunes

Doug Mendoza
August 20, 2018

Kovacic will be hoping that he has done enough to convince Sarri that he should start in Chelsea's third outing of the new season against Newcastle United next weekend.

An 81st minute victor from Marcos Alonso gave Chelsea a 3-2 win on an afternoon of high drama, yet the holes in the defending at both ends contributed to a game that left both goalkeepers hopelessly exposed as chances aplenty were missed.

Asked how he managed his cravings during the match and if he smoked at half-time and immediately afterwards, prior to his media commitments, Sarri said: "No, I will smoke in the evening I think". "I'm happy here, I do not want to talk about that yet". "We did very well in the last 25 minutes, but I think we have to work". At Stamford Bridge you can switch styles, players and managers but the resident magician remains their number 10. It is only two games. "I'm fine here. We'll see what happens in a year or two".

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But Arsenal were allowed several clear chances towards the end of the first half, and Sarri was not completely happy by his side's performance.

Despite some sloppy defending in the win against Arsenal, Chelsea looked assured going forward and the players have bought in to ex-banker Sarri's ideas. If we press very high we are able to do well. We conceded a lot of chances to Chelsea and, second half, we needed to keep control of the match better with the ball and the positioning.

But they had him craving one of his trademark cigarettes during a "horrible" 15 minutes when the Gunners forced their way back into a frenetic Premier League London derby. We have to stay very compact and need to press on the other half. Otherwise it might be a problem. "My target now is to play 90 minutes like the first 25".

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