SARRI ADMITS CHELSEA HAVE TO SOLVE PROBLEM OF CONCEDING EARLY SECOND-HALF GOALS

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Photo: Matt Dunham/AP

Chelsea started strong in the game against Slavia Prague in the second leg of the quarterfinal clash at Stamford Bridge as the Blues were 3-0 up inside the first 17 minutes of the game. The first-half ended 4-1 in Chelsea’s favour but the game had a nervy ending after Petr Sevcik scored two quick-fire goals for Sparta Prague immediately after the restart.

This season, Chelsea tend to collapse just after the start of the second-half and it happened again against Slavia Prague as Chelsea lost momentum just immediately after the restart. Sevcik’s brace came in the 51st and 54th minute as Chelsea experienced yet another early second-half collapse.

In 2019 alone, Chelsea have now conceded 12 goals immediately after the restart, and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is worried about this trend and has admitted that it needs to be solved on time.

“[We played] very well in the first half I think,” Sarri said after the game.

“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.”

Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta admitted after the game that the team is conceding early goals in the first-half and believes that this mistake must be worked upon.

Azpilicueta said after the game: “It’s a mistake that we make too often – we are conceding a lot of goals in the first minutes of the second half. We had to suffer until the end. We had a lot of confidence in the first half, when we were very good, and then we stopped playing. But we are in the semi-finals.”

Olivier Giroud believes that the team dropped intensity in the second-half, which gave Slavia the opportunity to score twice in the second-half.  

“We started well and were efficient in the box. Maybe we dropped our intensity in the second half and made a few mistakes, but Slavia never give up and the last 10 minutes were a bit box-to-box crazy. The first half was very enjoyable but we need to learn from our mistakes in the second half.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.