Sarri: Pedro the great

Chelsea’s top scorer so far this season is Pedro and despite the Spaniard starting Saturday’s game on the bench, he was able to add a third goal to his 2018/19 tally and an important one too, breaking the deadlock late in the game against Bournemouth.

Maurizio Sarri is grateful to have the 31-year-old, who signed a new contract a month ago, as one of several top-level options for the wide attacking roles.

‘Pedro has played the first three games, I started him, but on Saturday I thought it was better to play at the beginning with Willian,’ said the Blues boss, ‘but at the end I think I am lucky because if a coach can choose either Pedro or Willian he is a lucky coach.'

‘Pedro is a great player and it is normal for him to score but I am really very lucky because Hazard, Pedro, Moses and Willian in the same position, that’s very lucky and I don’t want to forget Hudson-Odoi.’

photo of Maurizio Sarri Maurizio Sarri

Looking further back in his team, Sarri spoke immediately after the weekend’s 2-0 win about Marcos Alonso being maybe the best left-back in Europe on current form, but with room for improvement in the defensive phase, and the Italian has given more detail on how he wants to see his team’s defending develop.

‘I think we need to be careful with the positioning of the players behind the line of the ball when we are in the offensive phase,’ he explained, ‘because sometimes on Saturday we had the right full-back at the cross and other one in the box, so it is a little bit dangerous.

‘David Luiz and Rudiger were in the right position when the opposition attacked the spaces [in counter-attack], not always the full-backs, not always the midfielders, centre-left and centre-right.

‘We can improve on this. If we are able to improve the positioning behind the line of the ball, we can have in this kind of match more continuity, without counter-attacks of the opponent. Maybe with more continuity, we could score earlier.’

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