Maurizio Sarri relieved to beat Newcastle United and accuses Chelsea players of thinking it was too easy
Maurizio Sarri was ‘very happy’ with the final result on Saturday.
A game where his players might have dominated possession but Newcastle looked just as dangerous as the hosts when they counter-attacked.
Chelsea hadn’t scored at home in the Premier League since 8 December 2018, a 2-0 win over Manchester City.
After failing to score at Stamford Bridge against both Leicester and Southampton, Maurizio Sarri says ‘It was really very important to score today.’
That they did after only nine minutes would have been expected to allow them to then relax and play better football, then add more goals.
The Chelsea manager thinks they did relax but in a bad way, thinking ‘not it’s easy’ after taking the lead.
Sarri believes his team then ‘slept’ for much of the first half and Newcastle had some decent positions and opportunities before eventually equalising five minutes before the break, thanks to a quality Ciaran Clark header from a corner.
It would have been very interesting to see how the Chelsea players would have reacted the longer the game had remained at 1-1 and especially if Newcastle had taken one of their chances to go in front.
It was two great finishes by Chelsea but poor defending by Newcastle on both as well, Rafa Benitez will have been fuming that they lost the game in this way, especially when on play overall they definitely deserved a draw.
“I am really very happy with the result.
“Today we started very well for ten minutes but after the goal I think we thought ‘now it’s easy’ – but it wasn’t.
“We slept for twenty, twenty five minutes and so at the end of the first half we were in trouble.
“(It was) Better in the second half but we need to improve in the mental reaction.
“After our first goal something happened.
“We stopped playing for 25 minutes – We need to improve.
“It was really very important to get three points and it was really very important to score today.
“For now it’s enough.
“It’s very difficult to understand.
“In the last five matches for us it really was very difficult to score.
“Today we scored after nine minutes, so the team thought today is very easy.
“We stopped playing and then we had problems.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1
Chelsea: Pedro 9, Willian 57
Newcastle: Clark 40
Possession was Chelsea 66% Newcastle 34%
Total shots were Chelsea 10 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Chelsea 6 Newcastle 2
Corners were Chelsea 8 Newcastle 5
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 82), Lejeune, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Longstaff, Perez (Murphy 82), Atsu, Rondon
Woodman, Joselu, Schar, Fernandez, Sterry
(David Pleat reviews the match HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1 HERE)
(Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players v Chelsea HERE)
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