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Hey, we just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s Sarri’s number ... and it may already be up.

Losing to Manchester City is not unthinkable. It’s not a crime. It’s somewhat expected, even, especially away at the Etihad. They are the best team in England, possibly Europe. But there are defeats ... and then there are defeats.

A certain Chelsea head coach once said “I am not so stupid to play against Manchester City open and to lose 3-0 or 4-0 ... when you play against City you have to use your brain, otherwise you risk to finish the game in a bad way.” He lost 1-0 in this same fixture and Chelsea’s shot-less performance was decried as a “crime against football”.

Conte’s sentence was an eventual sack. What’s Sarri’s going to be?

“If [Abramovich] calls, I’ll be happy, seeing as I never hear from him. To be honest, I don’t know what to expect.”

-Maurizio Sarri; source: Sky Italia via Football Italia

Before the match, we said the “the manner of the expected defeat is likely to be a telling indicator for how the dozen remaining Premier League games will go for us this season.” Chelsea have now gone roughly 400 minutes without scoring a single goal away from home in any competition, losing 1-0, 2-0, 4-0, and 6-0 in increasingly embarrassing circumstances. This is not a one-off to be dismissed with a shrug and a head-shake. Top four now seems like a hilarious pipe-dream even if we’re just 1 point behind Manchester United (!) in fourth, whom we’ll also face next in the FA Cup. Meanwhile, we’ll be lucky if the League Cup final against City in two weeks isn’t another pasting, while the easy-looking journey in the Europa League is bound to end in disappointment as well at his rate.

“Matches like this can leave a mark. It won’t be easy to get back on our feet after this. Football is also made of heavy defeats. At half-time, I told the lads that if we were able to react, we’d come back stronger than ever.”

-Maurizio Sarri; source: Sky Italia via Football Italia

The solution is surely more involved than just “reacting well”.