Chelsea lost to Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield, in a match where the Blues failed to turn up for most parts of the game.
After a goalless first-half, quickfire goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in the second-half turned the game around, as Jurgen Klopp’s side scored two goals within two minutes to keep the game out of Chelsea’s reach.
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri seemed unimpressed with the referee’s decision in the buildup to Liverpool’s opener, and the Italian revealed he was disappointed at referee Michael Oliver’s failure to award his side a free-kick in the lead-up to Mane’s opening goal, believing that left-back Emerson Palmieri had been fouled by Salah before the Senegalese forward nodded in from Jordan Henderson’s cross.
Sarri revealed that if it was in the Championship, the foul would have been given, but chose not to say more about the referee’s officiating.
“In my opinion, there was a foul on Emerson, but I think the level in Premier League is the best in the world but not for the referees,” Sarri said.
“I think the level of the referees is not in line with the Championship.
“Maybe the referee was right, I don’t want to say anything about it, but my feeling from the bench was that there was a foul. But, of course, Liverpool deserved to win.”
Speaking about his tactics after the game, Sarri revealed that the team’s plan was to defend deep against Jurgen Klopp’s men, hold them 0-0 and then push for a goal in the last 20 to 25 minutes of the game.
Sarri said: “We were a little bit low in defending at the beginning of the second half but we also defended a little bit low at the start of the first half, because Liverpool are able to approach the start of the first and the second halves in a very strong way. So it is not easy to play against them in that moment.
“If we were able to pass the first 10 minutes [of the second half] with the same result, in the last 20 or 25 minutes we could find a lot of spaces, because Liverpool needed to win, and so the target was to arrive in the last 20 to 25 minutes 0-0.”