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Sarri promises changes in tactics, approach, mentality to avoid another defeat against Spurs

Can’t have another 3-1 in Tuesday’s League Cup semifinal first leg

Crystal Palace v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea’s first season under Maurizio Sarri has been quite good, but over the last couple months, those feel-good vibes have been disrupted by a few downright terrible performances. The first, and perhaps still the worst was the 3-1 loss against Tottenham at Wembley in Premier League. Spurs got off to a flying start and before we could even draw a breath, they had already scored two goals. Chelsea never looked like mounting a comeback in what turned out to be the first competitive loss of Sarri-ball.

And so here we are, a month later, going up against Spurs once again, this time in the Carabao Cup semifinal. Sarri is determined to not repeat the same mistakes.

Spurs started with an intense high press, barely allowing Chelsea to play out of our half, forcing mistakes and turnovers. The interplay between Son, Dele, Eriksen and Kane was especially destructive as they would draw our midfield out and then thread a pass through, hitting us on the transition as our defence was almost always too slow to react. The spaces thus created were exploited expertly by Son, who was wreaking havoc with his pace and dribbling. Spurs were also a constant threat on set pieces, and their first goal was a result of a mismatch between Kovačić and Dele Alli.

All-in-all, it was a humbling performance, as Chelsea were hilariously outgunned in the tactical department and completely outmatched in the mental aspects of the game as well.

If we are to best Spurs (or at least do better against them) this time, not only will we need to match their hunger and determination but we’ll also need to find a way to beat their tactics. Against Manchester City, we already saw a different side to Sarri-ball as the Blues played deeper and more cautiously than seen until now.

Could we see a similar, more measured approach once again?

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