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It has been a very strange season for Chelsea, as Maurizio Sarri has experienced just how difficult the Premier League could be.
At the start of the season, Chelsea were in the fight for the title and the Blues lasted in that fight until November, when Chelsea lost their first game of the season, a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur away from home.
Since the defeat to Spurs, Chelsea’s season seemed to have collapsed, and by February Sarri was on the verge of being sacked according to rumours, following heavy losses to Bournemouth and Manchester City.
Chelsea dropped out of the top four and were 6th until the last few weeks of the season, as Chelsea made a late surge and capitalised on the failings of other sides contending for the top four to eventually end the season in third place.
Despite finishing in a Champions League spot, it still feels like a poor season for Chelsea, and Blues legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has told Sarri to win the Europa League and consider the season a success.
“At the start of the season a Champions League place was the aim and [Sarri] has got that in finishing in third,” said Hasselbaink.
“They had the League Cup final – that they lost to Man City on penalties – and the FA Cup, where they [reached the fifth round].
“If they win the Europa League final it’s been a successful season for Chelsea.”
Hasselbaink also told Sarri that it’s time to improve the team and that the Blues should contend for the title next season.
He said: “It’s a start.
“From where they came from it’s a big improvement. Now they need to improve again for next year. They need to be title contenders.”