Football

Maurizio Sarri identifies major Chelsea issue after second half collapse against Slavia Prague


Maurizio Sarri was not happy with Chelsea’s performance in the second half against Slavia Prague (Getty Images)

Maurizio Sarri found it difficult to understand Chelsea’s below-par second-half performance against Slavia Prague but admitted he is happy that his side progressed in the Europa League.

Chelsea raced into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 17 minutes of their quarter-final second leg against the Czech side thanks to goals from Pedro, Olivier Giroud and an own goal by Simon Deli.

By half-time, they were 4-1 up on the night after Pedro had added to his tally swiftly following Tomas Soucek’s strike for the visitors, giving them a four-goal aggregate cushion.

However, the visitors rallied in the second half and a double from Petr Sevcik within ten minutes of the restart gave Slavia Prague hope of causing a remarkable upset.

Ultimately, Chelsea were able to keep their opponents at bay for the remainder of the game, but Sarri was less than impressed with his players’ dip in performance.

Pedro scored twice as Chelsea won 4-3 (Getty Images)

When asked about Chelsea’s performance, he said: ‘Very well in the first half, I think. As usual, we started badly in the second half. We need a solution. In the last ten matches, we started like this match. It is a big problem.

‘We had to get qualification and maybe we thought we had at the end of the first half. I have never seen something like that, like these opponents.

‘It was clear the second half would be difficult. We did something wrong. They scored with a kick with no one near. We are happy to go through.

‘At half-time, I said the target was the start with the same application. I don’t know why. It is not easy to understand. Otherwise, we can’t solve the situation. I can try not to go into the dressing room at half-time.’

Chelsea’s reward for beating Slavia Prague 5-3 on aggregate is a semi-final meeting against Eintracht Frankfurt who went through on away goals after drawing 4-4 with Benfica.





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