Sarri pinpoints Chelsea’s failings after surviving Slavia scare

Date published: Thursday 18th April 2019 10:23

Maurizio Sarri has given his verdict after Chelsea were made to sweat as Slavia Prague put in a spirited performance at Stamford Bridge. 

The Blues won their quarter-final 5-3 on aggregate, but at a push rather than a canter, squandering a 3-0 lead in Thursday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Pedro opened the scoring after only five minutes and, after Simon Deli’s own goal, the Spaniard teed up Europa League top-scorer Olivier Giroud for his 10th of the competition.

Tomas Soucek headed home unmarked for Slavia before the break, only for Pedro to score the fifth goal of the match before the half-hour mark.

After the interval, Petr Sevcik blasted home two long-range strikes in three minutes to give Slavia hope of an unlikely comeback, but there was to be no Chelsea collapse.

Sarri stalked the touchline with a mixture of panic and fury for the last quarter-hour, dispensing entirely with his technical area as his emotions ran unchecked.

 

“We played very well in the first half to go 4-1 up. We probably lacked the application and we started very badly in the second half,” said the Italian, speaking to BT Sport after the match.

“We need to look at the result in that gets our qualification. I’m very happy because of our performance in the first 45 minutes and we’re in semi-finals, which is very important for us I think.

“We did some things wrong in the match but the physicality of the opponent was clear. They had a lot of high speed and the second half for us was difficult. They are a top side in the Europa League.”

Arsenal also made it through, beating Napoli 1-0 away. Chelsea face Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi, while the Gunners are due to take on Unai Emery’s old side Valencia.

There’s still every chance of an all-London Europa League final.

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