Analysis

Belief was key for Gianfranco Zola

Assistant coach Gianfranco Zola says the team’s belief in themselves and our tactics were crucial in coming through a tough season to end the campaign with a trophy.

Having overcome plenty of difficulties during the course of 2018/19, Chelsea can look back on a job well done after securing a third-place finish in the Premier League and adding silverware to the cabinet by beating Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final.

Zola was quick to praise the players for their achievements after that victory in Azerbaijan, highlighting the importance of their continued commitment to the cause through all the ups and downs across the season.

‘It’s football, no? During a season you can have good moments or bad moments,’ said the Italian. ‘What is important is always believing in your work and always giving your best. That’s what we did.

‘Fortunately the players believed in what we were doing, they helped us a lot, and we went through all the problems and difficulties that we had. We are all here celebrating and I think we deserved something.’

Reflecting on the win over the Gunners in Baku, it was a similar story for the assistant coach, who was proud of the way the team withstood some early pressure before taking the game to Arsenal with a devastating second-half performance.

‘I think the first 15 minutes, they started very well,’ added Zola. ‘They created some problems and a lot of corners.

‘But we held on and we waited for the moment and then we got better and better. In the end we deserved to win. I think that when you come to play games like this, if you can score first, it helps. We did that and luckily we built on the first goal, so I think we deserved to win.’

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