Maurizio Sarri sang the praises of both David Luiz and Eden Hazard after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool...
Our head coach believes the quality of our performance was a huge positive, even if conceding a late equaliser was tough to take.
‘We played very well, we had five or six goal opportunities – and I think also that Liverpool has had five or six opportunities,’ said the Italian. ‘We played against a top-level team, so I am disappointed with the result, but only because they have scored in the last minutes of the match. But I think that also the draw is the right result for a wonderful match.’
On a day full of impressive displays, Sarri expressed his appreciation for David Luiz, who was solid at the back as well as producing some of his trademark long deliveries to set up attacks.
‘I have to say he is better than I thought before, really better – as a player and as a man,’ he explained. ‘After I arrived here, I immediately had the feeling that he is a very good player for my way of football because he is a very technical centre-back, and then I appreciate very much the man.
‘I think he is able to play my football, with his characteristics. He is very technical, he is able to start the action from the defensive line, so he is very suitable for me.’
Hazard once again earned plenty of plaudits as he opened the scoring with his seventh Chelsea goal of the season – and second against the Reds in the space of four days. But it was the Belgian’s contribution in other areas which pleased his manager the most.
‘I am really very happy with him for the defensive phase, especially in the second half when the team needed help from him. For us, his attitude is very important. When we are trying to defend looking at the ball, we need players who will participate in the defensive phase, otherwise it is impossible.’