Conference Call: Brighter beginning

Maurizio Sarri had been concerned about our start to matches recently but he watched his team deliver from the off tonight, a fact made all the more impressive because we knew prior to kick-off top spot was guaranteed.

With BATE beating Vidi in Belarus in the early kick-off, the Blues headed on to the Stamford Bridge turf aware first place was ours having won all four of our Europa League games, but a fifth straight success was rarely in doubt especially when our visitors were reduced to 10 men early on.

Four well-taken goals followed and a number of different facets of our play pleased the boss…

‘First of all we approached the match very well, so I am very happy with this,’ Sarri said. ‘In the last three matches we had big problems with our impact in the match.

‘It was really very good, especially because before the match we knew very well we were in first position of our group after BATE Borisov won. It wasn’t very easy to find big motivation, so for this I am very happy.’ 

Sarri spoke about Callum Hudson-Odoi’s performance after the attacker’s first Chelsea goal

‘He played very well, but the type of match was for his characteristics. They had 10 men after seven minutes, so we only had to play in the offensive phase which he is really very able to do. I want to see him in a match when we need him also in the defensive phase.

‘The goal will give him confidence, like for Giroud and Morata. I am very happy with this: two strikers scored in this match, which is very important for us.’

Sarri was asked if Hudson-Odoi could start featuring in Premier League matches

‘If he was already ready to make a difference now, at 18, for a big team like Chelsea in the Premier League, he would be the best player in Europe in two years!’

Giroud’s second goal on the volley caught Sarri’s eye

‘It was really very good, but the pass from Cesc was an incredible pass.’

Morata has had a shorter haircut and Sarri was asked if it was a sign the striker meant business

‘I don’t know! His attitude is not a problem for the group or for me. In training he is doing very well, in the last month he has scored, it is not a problem.

‘With his new haircut he scored with a header, so it’s okay!’