Maurizio Sarri gives his verdict on tonight’s five-star showing, expresses delight with Olivier Giroud and ponders potential meeting with Napoli…
In the build-up to tonight’s game Sarri said it was key his side did not ‘undervalue’ their Ukrainian opponents despite the advantage we held from the first leg at Stamford Bridge. But an early Giroud goal ended any doubt and so began a performance that thoroughly pleased the boss.
‘We started very well,’ Sarri said.
‘We wanted to start in this way because it was important to score after the result in Stamford Bridge. We were able to score after five minutes. For the opponent it was a difficult situation.
‘We played a very good first half. In the second we managed the result. It was a wonderful performance for 90 minutes.’
Giroud scored a perfect hat-trick to keep up his phenomenal Europa League record
‘It was very, very good. In the last period every time he has been on the pitch he was able to play really very well. He scored nine goals in this competition. Olivier is a very important player for us. I am very happy for him and his hat-trick, and I am very happy with him.’
Sarri was asked if he would like to play Napoli in the quarter-final
‘I prefer to find them in the final! First of all, because it means we are in the final and I am happy. And second because it means Napoli are in the final and I’m happy. Because of my relationship with the city and the people, for me it would be very difficult to play against them in Naples.’
Sarri also had a word on our beaten opponents Dynamo Kiev
‘The problem in this moment of the season for Dynamo is that they are not in the top physical condition. Maybe two years ago they were better, but in this moment they are very young with a really great future.’