The Blues take on Manchester United in the tie of the FA Cup fifth round at Stamford Bridge on Monday, and David Luiz says he hasn’t been surprised by the Red Devils’ upturn in fortunes of late given the overall strength of their squad.
United suffered their first defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when they were beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday but prior to that setback the Norwegian, who replaced Jose Mourinho in December, had led his side on an 11-game unbeaten run.
Monday’s fixture is a repeat of last season’s final, which we won 1-0, and a third consecutive meeting between the teams in the competition. David Luiz spoke about United’s form under Solskjaer.
‘Even before they were a great team with a great manager, Jose Mourinho tried to do everything for the best for Man United but then they decided to change,’ said the Brazilian.
‘It became Solskjaer and he’s doing amazing because he’s a great coach and also he has great players. United have had the same team for a long time, they understand his philosophy and they try to enjoy it.’
In terms of his own manager’s philosophy, David Luiz says the whole squad are fully supportive of Maurizio Sarri and the type of playing style he is trying to implement during his first season at the helm.
‘We have had many meetings already asking if someone doesn't believe,’ he said. ‘They can say. Nobody said anything. It's because everyone believes (in it).
‘We lost against maybe the best team in the world at the moment in Manchester City. They were better than us from the beginning to the end.
‘We lost a few matches because it is part of the process. The teams that are at the top of the table now are ones with managers who have been there for more than three years.
‘There is a big difference when you have already understood everything, it is much easier to play football. I think we are in the right way to still improve to become a fantastic team.’
The defender, who scored his very first Chelsea goal in a home win over Man United, started Thursday’s Europa League win over Malmo in Sweden as we immediately bounced back from the disappointment of last weekend's defeat at the hands of Man City.
Monday’s FA Cup game is the first of three huge matches in a seven-day period, with Malmo visiting the Bridge for the return leg on Thursday before we take on Pep Guardiola’s side once again in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley next Sunday.
‘I think we have to be positive and think about what we can do now because the past is the past, you cannot change it,’ David Luiz said.
‘I’ve been playing for big clubs for many years. When you win it’s good and when you lose of course nobody is going to be happy and the pressure is going to be there.
‘I think we work together, we try to make them [the fans] happy and we are going to do everything to make them happy.’