Analysis

Conference Call: We were in control

Maurizio Sarri said winning today’s game against Fulham was more important than the overall quality of the performance.

Goals from Pedro and Ruben Loftus-Cheek secured a 2-0 victory against Claudio Ranieri’s side as we got back to winning ways in the Premier League.

Speaking after the game, Sarri was asked what he felt about the performance of his team.

‘I think today the result was very important,’ said the Italian. ‘We started very well then at 1-0 the players on the pitch had a very good level of application and attention, but without killing the match. We needed to kill it before and I think we were a bit tense.

‘Of course in the days after Tottenham it wasn’t easy for me and the players but we lost a match after three-and-a-half months, that can happen. Today it was important to react. The team did that very well in the Europa League and today was important.

‘In the mind of the players was only the result. At Tottenham 11 players played very badly and so I thought today it was natural to give them another chance.

‘We could have done better in the offensive phase but we were tense. I think in the minds at 1-0 we wanted to keep the result.

‘I think we were in control of the match. In terms of goal opportunities it was six two, so we were in control but a bit nervous.’

N’Golo Kante set up Pedro’s opener by winning the ball back inside the Fulham half

‘I think he played very well. He defended very well. He needs to improve a little more tactically but that’s natural. For the national team he usually plays with two midfielders. Last season sometimes with a two and sometimes with three, but in a central position, so it’s normal that he needs to improve.

‘Today he was better when the ball was on the other side of the pitch, I remember only one mistake in the first half. With the ball on the other side he has to stay close to Jorginho otherwise for us it’s a big problem. Jorginho is well able to make passes through the opponents but he’s not so good in the defensive phase with open spaces.’

Sarri also spoke about Loftus-Cheek, who had a positive impact on the game after coming off the bench

‘In the last few weeks he solved me problems. I was really very happy after the Europa League match because I think that was his best performance from a tactical point of view. Today I felt Kovacic was a bit tired and I put him on without problems. I was sure about his impact on the match.’

It was Olivier Giroud who started today’s game up front for the Blues, with Alvaro Morata replacing the Frenchman in the second half

‘They need to find continuity. Morata had a good period, Giroud is in a good period so we need more continuity. But I think its very normal to sometimes play Morata and sometimes Giroud, we have to play every three days so it’s normal.’
 

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