Analysis

Maurizio Sarri rates Chelsea’s confidence level and what must be done better after Malmo win

Following the 2-1 away win against Malmo, Maurizio Sarri was pleased to see signs that his side’s confidence has not been dented too greatly by the big loss at Man City in the previous game.

Chelsea scored in each half of Thursday evening’s outing in southern Sweden, Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud both netting with close-range finishes, but Malmo kept the tie alive by hitting us on the break for the third goal of the game.  

Despite in the end earning just the single-goal advantage to take into next week’s decider in this Europa League Round of 32 tie, Sarri saw positives…

‘I am happy because we played with a very good level of confidence,’ he said, ‘and that was not very easy after the last match. Today we had confidence because we moved the ball also inside our box. We played very well, the risk only came from set-pieces because Malmo are more physical than us.

‘We could score more but we conceded a goal because of a mistake,’ he added, ‘but today the level of application and attention was good. We made an individual mistake so I think we could win better. We had three or four goal opportunities at 2-0, so we could have killed the match, but I am happy with the confidence.’
 

Sarri explained he had been studying Malmo closely, including their recent pre-season games in Spain, so was not surprised the Swedes were difficult opponents…

‘Their team is a very solid, physical team. It is not easy to play against them so we need to think we have to earn the qualification in the next match at Stamford Bridge. We have to play because they are compact and solid. I knew very well the match is really very difficult, they are more physical than us so in every set-piece it is dangerous for us.’

The boss had a word of warning with a testing run of fixtures coming up which includes games against three of England’s top sides as well as the return against Malmo…

‘If we concede a goal like this [the one tonight against Malmo] to a team like Man United, Man City and Tottenham, then you risk conceding three goals in 10 minutes, so we have to do better, but I think the performance was a good performance.’

 

MORE FROM CHELSEA