Maurizio Sarri says Alvaro Morata is still part of Chelsea plans – but hails impact of Eden Hazard as false-nine

The Italian coach opted to use Eden Hazard as a false-nine against the champions, but then only put Olivier Giroud on the bench, leaving Morata out the squad completely

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Sunday 09 December 2018 17:13
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Maurizio Sarri insisted Alvaro Morata is still in his plans, and said the striker could be back in the team for Chelsea’s next match against Brighton and Hove Albion, despite leaving him out of the squad entirely for the 2-0 win over Manchester City.

The Italian coach opted to use Eden Hazard as a false-nine against the champions, but then only put Olivier Giroud on the bench. That came as Morata’s generally disappointing form at Stamford Bridge continues, having missed chances against Wolves and Fulham, and speculation starts to build around his future. Sarri however stated that the decision was only tactical, and that Morata understood this.

“But I think it’s normal choice for this kind of match. I don’t know if in Brighton we will play in the same way or not, maybe not. I don’t know but I think that Alvaro is able to understand that it is only tactical decision, not the final choice.

“We thought yesterday that for the first time in the season there was the possibility to have more spaces, and so we wanted to try with Eden because for the first time there was the possibility to play in counter-attacks. Hazard, Pedro and Willian are really very suitable for this kind of playing, so I think it’s a normal choice. I think that it’s really a very good option and maybe we will try it again in the future, especially for some matches.”

David Luiz meanwhile said he expects Morata to show his true quality for Chelsea.

“He’s an amazing player and person, and for sure he will bounce back and he be in that team. He is part of this family, sometimes you are in the group, sometimes not but he’s an amazing professional and he has many, many qualities to score many goals for Chelsea.”

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