Sarri criticises Chelsea’s second-half display

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Lukas Masopust of SK Slavia Praha is fouled by Matteo Kovacic of Chelsea during the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Slavia Praha at Stamford Bridge on April 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Maurizio Sarri has warned his team to be more cautious in their approach after Chelsea made a sloppy start in the second half of their Europa League quarter-final victory over Slavia Prague.

Chelsea were in cruise control with a 4-1 lead at the break but eventually allowed Petr Sevcik notch in a brace that created a nervy ending at Stamford Bridge.

The quarter-final game finished 4-3(5-3 on aggregate) on the night, but Sarri says his team must get out the “usual” habit of beginning second halves slowly.

He told Sky: “As usual in the last two months, we started badly in the second half. We need a solution to solve this problem.

“In the last 10 matches, we started like in this match. It’s a big problem but we have to consider the match and the qualification.

“At the end of the first half, we thought we were qualified but against this opponent. This wasn’t true because they are physical. I’ve never seen anything like that in the last 20 years.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - MAY 01: Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea speaks to the media during a Chelsea press conference ahead of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg match between Chelsea and Eintracht Frankfurt on May 02 2019 at Commerzbank-Arena on May 01, 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images)

Analysis – Four replacements for Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri may have led Chelsea to a top-four finish, Carabao Cup fin and Europa League final but his job remains far from safe.

“It’s true, the second half could have been difficult for us and we did something wrong. But of course, we are happy because to get into a European semi-final, it’s not easy so we are happy.

“The target was to start [the second half] with the same application and intention… but we didn’t do it.

“I don’t know and it’s not easy to understand, otherwise we can start the problem easily. It’s difficult to understand why.”

Eden Hazard, the subject of a couple of clattering early challenges, was taken off midway through the second half, but Sarri hopes he will be fit to face Burnley on Monday Night.

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