The overall reaction to Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night has been along the lines of “good, but”. There’s always a big but, as they say.
Chelsea were good, but not consistent.
Chelsea dominated possession, but did not create enough good chances.
Chelsea did create some good chances, but failed to finish them.
Chelsea got a good result, but it could’ve been better.
And so on.
Some of these are rather familiar concepts from the last couple seasons, which makes them all the more frustrating. On the other hand, Frankfurt could’ve scored more than just the one goal they got from highly coveted — sign him now! — Luka Jovic, so perhaps it’s an ... okay ... result. Sarri did feel we “deserved” more, which is always a silly concept in sports for me. You deserve what you get.
“I think we made a mistake in the first 20 minutes and my thought was that we were trying to manage the game 0-0 and then we started to play very well for the next part of the game. I think we deserved to win over the course of the chances. I think we deserved to win, but 1-1 is not so bad away. They are dangerous at home and away, I have seen all their matches. We have to play at Stamford Bridge and we want the final.”
Arsenal beat Valencia in the first leg of their semifinal back in London, but the attentions will first turn to Watford on Sunday. It’s a very busy end of season schedule with plenty on the line, which makes team selections all that much harder.
“We have to play five matches in two weeks with the same importance. We don’t know yet which is the right way. We want both. The Champions League and the Europa League win. This time we don’t want to just play the final, we want to win it. It is difficult because we have to play again in 62 hours, it is not easy to recover and especially in a very competitive league like the Premier League.”
Those sorts of fitness considerations led to the surprise decision to not start Eden Hazard and also to take off Man of the Match Ruben Loftus-Cheek towards the end. We’re going to need them both in the final three games (2 Premier League, 1 Europa League) over the course of eight days.
“Eden was on the bench because in the last period he had ten matches in a row. This was game 59 and he has played with the national team as well. It is impossible to play so much so like many other players he needs to rest or not play for 90 minutes. The second reason is that Eden is usually able to change the match from the bench so it was better to start with Willian and then change.”
“Loftus is a very important player, he has improved a lot over the season. He is always in trouble with his back, it is not easy for him to have training with consistency. But in this match he was very fit, but he had a cramp so he called me for the situation.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Football.London
A decent result today and hopefully a fit-enough squad for Sunday’s all important match at Stamford Bridge to maintain at least a two-point lead over 5th place heading into the final matchweek of the Premier League.