Analysis

Sarri explains mixed emotions and provides Rudiger and Willian injury update

Maurizio Sarri admitted we started poorly but still did enough to win at Old Trafford today, and the boss also had the latest on Toni Rudiger and Willian's injuries. 

We fell behind early to Juan Mata’s opener, but stayed in the game and levelled with half-time approaching when David De Gea spilled Antonio Rudiger’s long-range shot, allowing Marcos Alonso to equalise from close range.

We were the better side after the break and could have won it right at the end, only for De Gea to make amends and deny Gonzalo Higuain. That chance left Sarri with mixed feelings when he assessed whether it was a good point…

‘If I look at the first 20 minutes I am very happy [with it],’ the boss said. ‘If I look at the last minute when we had the best opportunity of the second half, I am not happy.

‘But to play here in Manchester against United is very difficult for every team. They played very well in the first 20, 25 minutes. We were in trouble because we didn’t have the right distance between the striker and the midfielders. The ball was always free, and they are very dangerous when they can attack space behind the line.

‘We were better in the last part of the first half and then the second half. We didn’t risk anything in the second half, only the corner in the last five minutes. We played very well in the second half.’

Report: Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1

Sarri’s message regarding the top four was clear

‘We need two wins. With two wins we are sure. With four points, I don’t know, it depends on goal difference.

Sarri provided an injury update on Toni Rudiger and Willian who both went off

‘The most serious situation is Antonio Rudiger with his knee. Willian is in trouble at the moment but I think it’s only a knock so we can try to recover him. For the next match in the Europa League probably Antonio will be out.’

Willian’s withdrawal followed a heavy challenge by Marcos Rojo

‘Willy was not happy! The card was an orange card. The yellow card was not enough. But we have to accept everything from the referee, it’s not easy for him.’

Sarri also commented on the mistake made by David De Gea in the build-up to our goal

‘It can happen. He is a great goalkeeper. He is unlucky in the last period I think. Of course sometimes you have a striker who is not able to score for two months, and sometimes you have a goalkeeper in difficulty for three or four matches. This is their job. It’s impossible to stay a very high level for 12 months.’

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