Maurizio Sarri was pleased with the performance of his players and, in particular, the way they dealt with a difficult first half, in today’s 3-0 win at Huddersfield.
Goals by N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, who scored from the spot, and Pedro secured an opening-day win for the Blues, but Sarri felt the contest as a whole was closer than the final scoreline suggests.
‘I’m very happy because in the first part of the season for us it won’t be easy for us to gain points,’ said the Italian. ‘The first half was hard. If you look at the result you think it was an easy game but in the first half we were in trouble for 15 minutes against a physical team, we are not a physical team. In the second half the opponent was a bit tired and it was easier.
‘We have to improve to defend in the other half, to press, especially against three defenders. We have to move the ball faster. In the first half we didn’t, it was better in the second but we had more space and time.
‘It was really hard for us because they played all their pre-season matches with a 4-2-3-1, only one match in a 4-3-3. We have never played against 3-5-1-1 and we weren’t ready. It was a problem. Maybe for Napoli last year it wasn’t a problem but for Chelsea, with only three days training together, it’s clear it was a problem.’
Eden Hazard played the last 15 minutes and was superb, setting up our third goal for Pedro
‘I think Eden at this moment cannot play for 90 minutes. He has to improve and train. The best thing for him to do is play 15-20 minutes when the opponents are tired.
‘We are lucky now because for three or four weeks we can work with one match a week, so we have to improve in this month, then it will be difficult, with three matches in a week, but I hope to improve the team.’