Sarri warns Chelsea to cut out defensive mistakes

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri had a word of warning for his players following Thursday’s 2-1 first leg win at Malmo FF in the Europa League.

On the back of last weekend’s humiliating 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, the Blues claimed a welcome victory in Sweden in their last-32 tie against Malmo.

Ross Barkley opened the scoring at the Swedbank Stadion in the 30th-minute before Olivier Giroud netted his fifth goal Europa League goal of the season in the second-half.

But Malmo set-up a tense ending for Chelsea for the final 10 minutes of the game when Anders Christiansen scored for the hosts after capitalising on Mateo Kovacic’s poor pass.

“I am happy because we played with a very good level of confidence,” said Sarri on the club website.

“And that was not very easy after the last match. Today we had confidence because we moved the ball also inside our box.

“We played very well, the risk only came from set-pieces because Malmo are more physical than us.

Sarri added: “We could score more but we conceded a goal because of a mistake. But today the level of application and attention was good.

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“We made an individual mistake so I think we could have won better. We had three or four goal opportunities at 2-0, so we could have killed the match, but I am happy with the confidence.”

However, on the back of conceding 11 goals in their past four games, Sarri warned his team that they must resolve their defensive issues after their costly error in the build-up to Christiansen’s goal.

“If we concede a goal like this [the one tonight against Malmo] to a team like Man United, Man City and Tottenham, then you risk conceding three goals in 10 minutes, so we have to do better, but I think the performance was a good performance,” said Sarri.

Chelsea will take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday for their fifth-round FA Cup tie before hosting Malmo three days later in the return leg of their Round of 32 Europa League clash.

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