Chelsea boss Sarri admits Newcastle approach made things difficult

Date published: Sunday 26th August 2018 6:40

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on August 26, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he was shocked that Newcastle set up so negatively in their 2-1 win at St. James’ Park.

DeAndre Yedlin’s late own goal preserved Chelsea’s perfect start to the new Premier League season as stubborn Newcastle saw a point snatched from their grasp.

The Magpies thought they had banked a point when substitute Joselu headed home an 83rd-minute equaliser to cancel out Eden Hazard’s penalty seven minutes earlier.

However, their joy was short-lived when Yedlin could only help Marcos Alonso’s drive into his own net with three minutes remaining as Rafael Benitez’s ultra-defensive masterplan failed to deny the visitors a first league win at St James’ Park since December 2011 in front of a crowd of 51,791.

“I have never seen a Rafa Benitez side play with five defenders,” Sarri told Sky Sports.

“I think it is very difficult to play here for every team – not only us. We were a bit unlucky when they scored to make it 1-1.

“The match was very difficult and it was impossible to have space. We were good, better in the second half, but it was very difficult.

On Chelsea’s penalty: “I don’t know I was far from the incident and I am not the referee, and I don’t want to be a referee either.

“Eden (Hazard) has played very well but maybe it was better if he played for only 75/80 minutes, but (Mateo) Kovacic asked me to be replaced so it was not possible.”


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