Chelsea boss Sarri: We weren't great; but we've qualified

Lynette Rowe
November 10, 2018

Although Sarri has preferred a midfield trio of N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, Barkley has become a dependable alternative, scoring three goals in the past five appearances.

The Blues could hoist themselves to the top of the Premier League table on Sunday if they can better Liverpool FC's result against Fulham ahead of the Manchester derby later on Sunday evening. Technically he's very good. He's improving in moving the ball, mentally quicker. In a league where a team is managed by Pep Guardiola, the fact that Chelsea are above that team in the passing chart shows how much of an influence Sarri has been.

After a shaky start upon Sarri's arrival and with the Blues hosting Everton on Sunday, the Italian coach was candid but lauded Barkley's improvement.

I don't think Hazard plays tomorrow. "I want to choose for another way, not for this kind of thinking".

Fit-again Eden Hazard played 62 minutes in Thursday's game and could be in contention to start.

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Barkley anticipates facing some hostility from Everton's visiting supporters, after moving on following 13 years at Goodison Park. I understand how some of them play, so that could be an advantage for me.

Former Germany global Ballack reckons Chelsea will not only have to fork out a huge amount of money to keep the talented 27-year-old, but they will also need to convince him that they can continue to challenge for major honours. "It was a very hard day for me. I'm looking forward to catching up with some of the staff there who I used to get on really well with".

Olivier Giroud's first goal of the season early in the second half proved enough for the Blues to book their place in the Europa League round of 32 against BATE, who vastly improved on their showing in a 3-1 loss at Stamford Bridge last month and struck the frame of Kepa Arrizabalaga's goal three times.

Cesc Fabregas is the only doubt after missing out with illness last night, but the Spaniard would be unlikely to start anyway.

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