Analysis

Maurizio Sarri praises Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen, and thanks Chelsea supporters

After watching Chelsea beat Brighton convincingly, Maurizio Sarri complimented the performances of his young stars Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen on the pitch, and praised the 'wonderful' backing from our fans off it.

The boss was very happy with the performance and margin of victory against Brighton tonight. Our biggest league win for a couple of months was kickstarted when Hudson-Odoi set up Olivier Giroud’s opener, and it was Loftus-Cheek who completed the scoring in style shortly after Eden Hazard had doubled our advantage with a stunning goal of his own.

Sarri began by assessing the final outcome

‘The match was not easy,’ he said. ‘We played very well and at the end it seems like it was easy, but we deserved to win.

‘We deserved to win 3-0 because we played a very good match with the right level of enthusiasm, with the right level of intensity for 75 minutes, of course not in the last 15 minutes, but we deserved to win.’

Sarri was asked how he thought Hudson-Odoi did on his first league start

‘Very well, but I was sure about that. As I said yesterday Callum is ready to play in every match, also the most difficult matches, because he has improved a lot during the season. He played very well.

‘This match was very suitable for him. They usually defend very low and tight. He is able to start wide, and for him there was the possibility to play one against one 25 times in a match.

‘I am also really happy with him because he defended very well. For us it’s very important to have three offensive players able to defend, otherwise it’s a problem for the balance of the team. So tactically now he is ready.’

Sarri revealed he had joked with the 18-year-old after the game

‘He is happy, but I told him he missed a very easy chance in the first half! He smiled. He has to stay with his feet on the floor. He’s a good boy.

‘Of course now he can risk to stop improving, he can risk thinking he is a player at 100 per cent, but it’s not true. It’s impossible to be at the top when you are 18. He needs to improve, he can improve, and I want him to improve because he can become one of the best players in Europe.’

Sarri was asked if Hudson-Odoi would start again against West Ham on Monday

‘The best of Callum is on the left, the best of Hazard is on the left, the best of Willian is on the left, but I have only one left! I am sorry! Two of the three can play of course, but one has to adapt himself to the other side, as Callum did in this match for 80 minutes.’

Loftus-Cheek started in midfield and scored his second goal in four days

‘Loftus-Cheek for the first time in the season is without his problem in his back. In the last 20 days he was able to have training every day. Today he played very well, he scored a wonderful goal. After 75 minutes he had a little problem with his hamstring, nothing serious, only cramp I think, but tomorrow I want to be sure about the situation with his back because that is the big problem.’

Sarri made a point of bringing up the name of Christensen who contributed to a clean sheet

‘I have to say another thing. We are talking about Callum and Ruben, but I was impressed by the performance of Christensen. I want to speak also about him. In the last period Christensen has played five or six matches really very well.’

Sarri was asked if the trio can be the foundation of this team for years to come

‘I think so, and I hope so. They are at the moment very important players, but their potential is higher, so in the future they can become top players. For this team the future could be good.’

Having called for the supporters to get behind the players ahead of the game, Sarri paid tribute to those inside Stamford Bridge for backing the Blues

‘The atmosphere in Stamford Bridge was wonderful today. The fans helped the players for 90 minutes. It’s easier when you win 3-0, but the atmosphere was wonderful and we have to say thank you to our fans for that.’
 

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