Chelsea vs Leicester: Maurizio Sarri says Blues were ‘a team in mental confusion’ after Jamie Vardy’s goal

Jamie Vardy’s smash and grab goal ended Chelsea’s 12-game undefeated run at Stamford Bridge

Tom Kershaw
Stamford Bridge
Saturday 22 December 2018 19:23
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Chelsea: A look back at 2018

Maurizio Sarri claimed his Chelsea side were “a team in mental confusion” after Jamie Vardy’s breakaway goal brought an end to the club’s 12-game undefeated record at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had been in overwhelming command of the match, boasting almost 80% of possession, until Vardy’s smash and grab winner early in the second half saw them descend into a confused panic from which they never recovered.

Afterwards Sarri questioned why his side deteriorated after the goal and chose to forgo their tactics when there was still over half-an-hour of the match to play.

“I think we played very well for 55 minutes. We played very good football. After the goal, the reaction was, for me, a strange reaction. Not in the right direction. Not as a team. But as 11 different players. So it was really very strange.

“I think we could have done better in the reaction. We had only to continue to play as in the first part of the match. There was time to score without a reaction as a team shocked, a team in mental confusion.

“I don’t know [why this keeps happening]. If I knew, I’d solve the problem for this match. It’s difficult to understand because we have players with a lot of experience, so it’s difficult to understand.”

After such an imperious start to the season, Chelsea now find themselves eleven points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool at Christmas, having lost three times in four weeks, but the Italian claimed that the battle for the club has always been to secure a position in the top four.

“As we said from the beginning of the season, we knew very well that, for us, this season it was impossible for us to fight for the Premier League. So it’s not important Liverpool, at the moment. For us, it’s very important to stay close to the top four. As we said starting from July.”

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