First goal was the key to unblocking a disappointing start for Chelsea according to manager Maurizio Sarri. The Blues claimed a 5-1 aggregate win over Malmo FF and will now join Arsenal in the Last 16 stage of the Europa League.
The Chelsea boss said: “I think we played without confidence the first 30 minutes, nervous, we were unable to move the ball very fast and we were terrible on their pressing. It was a bit better in the last 15 and then I think after the first goal, very well. We started to move the ball very fast but it wasn’t easy for us to play this match.
“I think in the first 30 minutes we understood why Jorginho was important for our team. We were in trouble to exit from our half and with Jorginho it’s easier. I hope our fans will be able to understand he is very important.”
Sarri was then asked about his team’s upcoming cup final with Man City. In particular, he was asked what would happen if Chelsea were to repeat their Malmo performance against the Cityzens
The Chelsea boss replied: “It will be a disaster. I am worried about the first 30 minutes, only for the offensive phase. We cannot play our football without confidence but the level of application was good.”
The 60-year-old manager was also quizzed about the young British talent in his squad and whether they are getting enough game time.
He said: “We had a lot of problems with Loftus-Cheek in the last few months. He started training only two days ago after a long period of big problems with his back. I think that he can improve a lot, Callum of course because he is 18 so he can improve a lot.
“We needed to find the right position on the pitch for Ampadu. We are trying him as a midfielder, centre back, full back, but we need to have a clear idea because from now until the end of the season we must decide, otherwise for him it’s difficult to improve.”
With regards to Callum Hudson-Odoi, Sarri said: “We have Pedro, Willian, Hazard, it’s not easy for a young player to play with consistency as his team mates. I want to remember you that Callum played 14 matches, there isn’t in England another player with 14 matches in the first team. I think we are using in the right away.
“The 20 matches in this season will become 30 in the ext, then 40 in two years. The club must decide because if I am the club and want Callum on the pitch, I must sell another winger or the manager is in trouble.”