Sarri: “Man City are the best team in Europe”

FILE PHOTO (EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE OF IMAGES - Image numbers 1089388290,1040951906 - GRADIENT ADDED) In this composite image a comparison has been made between Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City (L) and Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea. Manchester City and Chelsea FC meet in a Premier League fixture on February 10, 2019 at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. ***LEFT IMAGE*** SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30: Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City looks on before the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Manchester City at St Mary's Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Maurizio Sarri, Manager of Chelsea looks on ahead of the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on September 26, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri believes Manchester City are an example for every club to follow and admits they’ve still got a lot of work ahead of them to be title challengers.

The Blues will head to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to take on City knowing that victory will likely be a must if they are to maintain their top-four spot in the Premier League.

But Pep Guardiola’s side will also be determined to take all three points after retaking the lead in the standings from Liverpool on goal difference following Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Everton.

Speaking ahead to this weekend, however, Guardiola made a surprise announcement by suggesting that Chelsea could still be title contenders despite them trailing City by 12 points.

Although Sarri doubts Chelsea will challenge for the league crown anytime soon and added it will take time for them to match the likes of City and Liverpool.

“I don’t think so, not at the moment. We will be able to fight for the top four this season, no more,” said Sarri on the club website.

“We can win something of course, but in the Premier League, there is a fight between Liverpool and Man City. In my opinion, Man City are the best team in Europe. They are an example for every club.

“We need to work. Guardiola is in the third season in the Premier League, Klopp in the fourth or fifth, but we need to work. I don’t know another way.

“We need only to work and try to reduce the gap.”

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The former Napoli coach was happy with the way Chelsea responded to their 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth by thrashing Huddersfield Town 5-0 last weekend.

“In the last match, we reacted very well. After the match against Huddersfield I was happy with the result, but especially the performance,” added Sarri.

“We know very well we need consistency. I hope our version on Sunday will be the best.”

The City and Chelsea match will begin at 5:00 PM (CET) on Sunday.