Maurizio Sarri felt we performed well in the second half of tonight’s 3-0 win over Malmo after what he described as an understandably slow start.
The Blues scored three times after the break, through Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi, to secure a 5-1 aggregate victory, and Sarri provided his thoughts on the performance.
‘I think we played the first 30 minutes without confidence, we were nervous and unable to move the ball very fast,’ the Italian explained.
‘We were in trouble with their pressing. It was a little bit better in the last 15 minutes of the first half, then after the first goal we played very well. We started to move the ball fast and with confidence. It wasn’t easy for us to play this game so I can understand the first 30 minutes.’
Hudson-Odoi impressed and produced a fine finish for our third goal
'He played very well but I also think Christensen and Emerson played very well so I’m very happy with those three players. At the moment they are ready to play with consistency.
‘You need to understand in the same position we have Pedro, Willian and Hazard, so it’s not easy for a young player to play with consistency like his team mates. I want to remind you Callum has played 14 matches [this season]. We are using him in the right way. Twenty matches will become 30 next year, and then 40 the year after. But the club has to decide because if I want Callum on the pitch with consistency then I have to sell another winger, otherwise the club is in trouble.’
Ruben Loftus-Cheek returned from injury in the second half and Ethan Ampadu was also given some minutes
‘We had a lot of problems with Loftus-Cheek in the last two months, he started training with his team-mates only two days ago after a long period with a big back problem. He can improve a lot, also Callum because he’s only 18.
‘We need to find the right position on the pitch for Ampadu. We are trying him as a midfielder, centre-back, full-back but we have to have a clear idea. Between now and the end of the season we have to decide otherwise it will be difficult for him to improve.’
Sarri also spoke about Jorginho, who came on in the second half
‘I think in the first 30 minutes we understood why Jorginho is very important. We were in trouble getting out of our half with the pressing and with Jorginho it’s easier. I hope our fans can understand he’s a very important player for us.’