Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal - The game in five pictures

Annette Crawford
August 19, 2018

Despite going top of the table and scoring six goals, Sarri joked that he needed to revert to his nicotine habits for the 15-minute horror show when Chelsea collapsed defensively and let Arsenal back into the game.

"I have spoken to him very often in the last ten days but he has never said to me anything about [leaving]".

"I know we need to improve things and push the players to work, but for me, there are many positive things". But I think that, at this moment, he's not able to play for 90 minutes so yesterday I thought it was better to give him 25-30 minutes when the intensity of the match has come down.

But they had him craving one of his trademark cigarettes during a "horrible" 15 minutes when the Gunners forced their way back into a frenetic Premier League London derby.

Sarri explained: "I think we have to work to improve in the defensive phase - and we are not only talking about defenders".

'We did really very well in the first 25 minutes today.

"We need to press and press and press in the other half, otherwise we are in trouble".

Chelsea went into the game as favourites following their opening day victory over Huddersfield last week, while Arsenal had been put to the sword by Premier League champions Manchester City.

Asked if he sees Chelsea as potential title challengers, Sarri said candidly: "Not in this moment". Because if we press very high, we are able to do well.

"But we need to continue and press and press and press in the other half". We have players who can do something magic. "And then today I think the team competed well, had chances in the match, and also the young players are playing each match and they are growing up with us". "I am sure Eden will be with us for this season".

When you can call Eden Hazard from the substitutes' bench, or replace Alvaro Morata with Olivier Giroud in the closing stages, it is an example of the depth that Sarri has at Chelsea, however.

"But I hope, one more week, maximum two weeks, he will be able to play for 90 minutes".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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