Maurizio Sarri was happy with the way his players responded to a difficult period before half-time to regain control of a match we had started so well.
Our new boss’s first league game in charge of the Blues at Stamford Bridge was a classic London derby that swung one way and the other.
In the end it was Chelsea who finished with the bragging rights courtesy of Marcos Alonso’s late winning goal, and even though Sarri knows there is plenty of room for improvement, he was largely satisfied with the way his team played today…
‘We did very well for 75 minutes,’ he said.
‘Fifteen minutes, from 30 to 45 in the first half, was horrible! We lost distances, we were not able to recover immediately the lost ball, and we were not able to press in the other half as a team, only one or two players with the others too far away.
‘But the players were very good in the second half from a mental point of view to answer to the final part of the first half.’
Arsenal scored twice and could have netted more during that period before the break
‘We did very well in the last 25 minutes today, but we have to work and improve in the defensive phase, and we are not only talking about the defenders.
‘If we want to defend by looking only at the ball, we need to stay very compact and press in the other half. In that 15 minutes, we were not able to do that, and so we were in trouble.
‘We need to continue, and press and press and press in the other half, otherwise for us there may be a problem. We will be in trouble in the defensive phase and not able to move the ball like we did in the first 25 minutes.
‘I hope in two months we will be able to play for 90 minutes like we did the first 25 minutes.’
Alvaro Morata opened his account for the season
‘It’s very important for him. I am really very happy with him, but I think also Morata can do better in the future. He has to improve.’
Eden Hazard got the assist for the winner
‘He is a great player. In this moment Eden is not able to play for 90 minutes. Yesterday I thought it would be better for him to play 25 or 30 minutes when the intensity of the match is going down.
‘In one week, maximum two weeks, I hope he will be able to play for 90 minutes.
Sarri’s first London derby was a cracker
'I enjoyed the match for 75 minutes, not the other 15. In the other 15 it was better to smoke! I think it was a wonderful match for everybody.'