Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea not yet Premier League contenders

Chelsea Arsenal

Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery Credit Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic believes he has found a coach who believes in him in the form of Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri following his move from Real Madrid.

Chelsea fought back to win 3-2 as cigarette-smoking Sarri joked that he needed to revert to his nicotine habits for the horror show when Chelsea collapsed and let Arsenal back into the game.

"I made a decision to change it because I think we needed a little more of a push in the middle, so that we couldn't let Chelsea progress easily with the ball". I think it's better for me and we play better'.

"We did very well for 75 minutes - 15 minutes at the end of the first half was awful".

"We have good players, we can do something magic, so it's good to have this kind of manager".

He played down talk of Chelsea contesting the title, despite winning their first two games of the season, saying his side needed to learn to keep up their tempo.

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On the field, the first half was clearly the more entertaining, as Chelsea raced out to a 2-0 lead, only to see Arsenal claw two goals back to equalize things heading into halftime.

"But I'm happy here".

In a tighter second half, neither side could carve out as many chances but Alonso settled the game when Belgium winger Eden Hazard, on as a substitute, carved open the Arsenal defence for the Spanish defender to finish in Sarri's first home game in charge.

'We just gave them too much space and didn't press at the right times after losing the ball.

"We want to defend by looking only at the ball". But not in the other 15 minutes.

"We have to improve because we did really well in the first 25 minutes today, but we need to continue to press in the other half". In that 15 minutes, we were not able to do this, so we were in trouble. Otherwise it might be a problem.

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