Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Kovacic: Chelsea and Sarri Believe in Me

Kovacic: Chelsea and Sarri Believe in Me

New Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri applauded his players for delivering the high-pressure game he wants to establish for much of their roller-coaster 3-2 win over Arsenal on Saturday.

Chelsea beat City to the signing of Jorginho to reunite the Italian global with Sarri after three seasons together at Napoli and he is already becoming key to Sarri's change of system at Stamford Bridge.

"No, not in this moment", he said when asked if his side were among the favourites. We have to improve in the defensive phase, and I'm not talking about only the defenders.

"I think we did really very well in the first 25 minutes today", Sarri told reporters. "Let's see what happens in one or two years". But, at the other moments, when we are not able to press in the other half, we are in trouble.

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"But we need to continue and press and press and press in the other half".

Introduced for Willian in the 61st minute, Hazard helped tip the game decisively in Chelsea's favour, driving Arsenal back with his dribbling threat and ultimately creating the winning chance for Alonso.

This is perhaps best case scenario for Chelsea, who we may qualify as a contender for the PL crown along with Liverpool and Manchester City (leaving room for United and Spurs, of course).

It was Alonso who, in the 41st minute, got turned inside-out by Hector Bellerin and he passed to Arsenal's first goalscorer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was free to cross for Alex Iwobi to equalise. Otherwise, for us it may be a problem.

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"Well yeah, he (Sarri) knows me for a long time".

Sarri also improved Napoli defensively but warned that his Chelsea players could only achieve similar solidity if they commited totally to his style.

Injuries are going to happen, but this could be Chelsea's two-deep with Hazard staying and a healthy crop of center backs left over from Antonio Conte's three at the back needs. Now I can attack the space, I can play one touch and go in the area for the crosses.

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