Maurizio Sarri revealed that he was pleased with Chelsea’s performance in their defeat to Liverpool – but admitted that his side are tiring ahead of the final push for the top four.
Goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah – the latter a goal of the season contender – gave Liverpool a 2-0 win over the Blues at Anfield, but the loss isn’t enough for Chelsea to drop out of the top four.
Coach Sarri praised his side’s mentality for pushing until the end.
He told Sky Sports: “We played a good match against wonderful opponents. We stayed in the match for 50 minutes. After the second goal – a shocking goal in a good way for them but not for us – we reacted. We had two or three opportunities to score but I think we played very well.
“Probably at this moment they are better than us but we are going the right way. After the second goal, we had three opportunities with Eden [Hazard] and [Gonzalo] Higuain. We were not lucky for sure. We hit the post for the 35th time in our season.
“In my opinion we are going in the right way. We are improving. Three months ago we were not able to stay in the match.”
The result keeps Chelsea in fourth place, and Sarri is prepared for a tough end to the season as they battle with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United for a place in next season’s Champions League.
“It’s not easy of course but we have to fight to the end,” he said. “It will be very hard for every team in the last month of the season. We can expect very strange results in last month because we are tiring like all the other teams.”
Later, speaking to BBC Sport, Sarri also weighed in on the debate over the quality of refereeing in the Premier League, claiming Liverpool’s first goal should not have stood.
“In my opinion there was a foul on Emerson, but I think the level in Premier League is the best in the world but not for the referees. I think the level of the referees is not in line with the championship.
“Maybe the referee was right, I don’t want to say anything about it, but my feeling from the bench was that there was a foul. But, of course Liverpool deserved to win.”
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