“As usual in the last two months, we started badly in the second half. We need a solution to solve this problem,” says Chelsea boss after Europa League win
Last Updated: 19/04/19 12:03am
Maurizio Sarri says his Chelsea players must begin with more urgency after half-time following their 4-3 Europa League quarter-final victory over Slavia Prague (5-3 on aggregate).
Chelsea were 4-1 up at the break in Thursday’s entertaining second-leg tie at Stamford Bridge, but two goals from Petr Sevcik shortly after half-time gave Slavia Prague a glimmer of hope of a remarkable comeback to bring the tie to 5-3 on aggregate.
The quarter-final game finished 4-3 on the night, but Sarri says his team must get out the “usual” habit of beginning second halves slowly.
He said: “As usual in the last two months, we started badly in the second half. We need a solution to solve this problem.
“In the last 10 matches, we started like in this match. It’s a big problem but we have to consider the match and the qualification.
“At the end of the first half, we thought we were qualified but against this opponent. This wasn’t true because they are physical. I’ve never seen something like that in the last 20 years.
“It’s true, the second half could have been difficult for us and we did something wrong. But of course, we are happy because to get into a European semi-final, it’s not easy so we are happy.
“The target was to start [the second half] with the same application and intention… but we didn’t do it.
“I don’t know and it’s not easy to understand, otherwise we can start the problem easily. It’s difficult to understand why.”
Eden Hazard, the subject of a couple of clattering early challenges, was taken off midway through the second half, but Sarri hopes he will be fit to face Burnley on Monday Night Football.
Chelsea vs Burnley
April 22, 2019, 7:30pm
“It’s nothing serious, I hope,” he added. “It’s only a strong knock. But I think we can recover him for the next match on Monday.”
Disappointed Slavia coach Jindrich Trpisovsky said: “We scored three goals, but it is only a little remedy after the first half.”