Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has said that he is thrilled with his team’s performance in the Europa League.
“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.”
Sarri also explained why he kept Hazard on the bench for the first half.
“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.”