10 April 2019

Sarri Thrilled With Chelsea's Fight  (Sky Sports)

Maurizio SarriMaurizio Sarri was delighted with how his Chelsea players 'suffered' during their victory over Slavia Prague.

Chelsea produced an under-par display in the Europa League quarter-final first-leg, but showed good character to pick up a late winner through Marcos Alonso.

It means they head back to Stamford Bridge for the second leg next week with a narrow advantage and Sarri felt it was the sort of game they would have lost earlier in the season.

"I'm really happy with the result, and also with the performance,' Sarri said. "In this moment we are able to suffer, and in the past we were not able to suffer in the difficult moments of a match.

"In the past when we were in trouble, we immediately conceded a goal. Now we are able to stay in trouble to fight and to suffer without conceding anything.

"We knew very well to play here is very difficult. The opponents are very physical, very aggressive, so we knew we had to face difficulties during the match. We were able to face them well, then in the second half we were able to play better.

"Now we need to think the second leg will be difficult. These opponents are also very dangerous away, like against Genk [where they won 4-1]. We need to be careful."

The Chelsea boss made seven changes ahead of their Super Sunday clash with Liverpool, live on Sky Sports, and he admitted in an ideal world Eden Hazard would have remained on the bench, not have to be brought on with just 58 minutes on the clock.

"At the beginning of the match I wanted him on the bench, because I thought probably the match would be very difficult and probably I would need to use him," Sarri added.

"But if we were 1-0 up at the end of the first half I wouldn't have used him."

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