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21st of November 2018

Sport



Maurizio Sarri Admits Chelsea 'Didn't Play Very Well' in Narrow Europa League Win Over BATE Borisov

Maurizio Sarri didn’t think Chelsea played well against BATE Borisov, but was happy with the result as the Blues qualified for the Europa League knockout stages.

Sarri spoke after Chelsea’s 1-0 win, where Olivier Giroud’s header saw them secure all three points. The result sees them progress to the Round of 32, with four wins from four in Group L.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/GettyImages

Speaking in his post-match press conference as quoted on the club’s official website, Sarri spoke of his disappointment at the performance, citing his team's lack of threat as a particular concern, although he was happy for match winner Giroud, whose goal was his first strike of the season.

“The best thing about this evening was the result. I think we didn’t play very well," he began.

"I didn’t like the first half because we moved the ball only horizontally and slowly, so it was hard to be dangerous. It wasn’t easy to play a good game here, it was all the conditions to play badly, but I think we could have done better.”

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/GettyImages

“I’m pleased for him. He’s a very important player for us and he’s very useful for the team. But I know very well that strikers want to score, and so for his confidence it’s very important. But I don’t want him to be worried about scoring because for us he’s very important.”

Sarri was full of praise for BATE Borisov's performance, and was ultimately pleased to have overcome a tricky test to achieve his side's primary Europa League target.

“I can say they played very well. They defended well in the first half, also in the first part of the second, and they attacked well in the last 10 minutes.

“At the end they were unlucky and they could have drawn the match. They played very well, for sure better than at Stamford Bridge.”

“I think the first target in this competition was to qualify and now the second target is to win our group. It’s very important because then we can talk again about this competition in February, when we will have another target."

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