Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sarri bemoans injuries after Giroud limps off

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Dec 2018

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Maurizio Sarri said he felt luck was against Chelsea after Olivier Giroud limped out of their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace just a day after the Blues lost three other players to injuries.

Giroud twisted his ankle in the process of scoring from an offside position for a second time in the game, prompting Sarri to send on Alvaro Morata as a 76th-minute replacement.

After seeing his side move five points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal in the Premier League table, Sarri revealed Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Danny Drinkwater had all suffered injuries prior to the game.

“Giroud’s problem is his ankle,” Sarri told reporters. “We have to wait for tomorrow.

“In the past days we were a bit unlucky. Yesterday in 10 minutes we had three injuries. Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek and Drinkwater. 

“Then today, Giroud, and we were without Pedro and [Callum] Hudson-Odoi.” 

Chelsea’s winning goal against Palace came from N’Golo Kante, who controlled David Luiz’s chipped pass after making a run into the box to find the net in the 51st minute. 

It was the France international’s third goal of the season, meaning it is already his most prolific campaign since moving to England, and Sarri praised the midfielder’s performance at Selhurst Park. 

“Kante is improving, especially in movements without the ball,” said the Chelsea boss. 

“Today the movement was very good and done with the right timing. It’s important when we play against opponents low in density. 

“Now we have to work on Loftus-Cheek and [Ross] Barkley for this. Loftus is a great player with the ball, but he can improve a lot without the ball. 

“We played against a dangerous opponent. We played a very good match for 85 minutes. We were in good control, but we didn’t kill the match, so it was difficult to defend in the box for the last five minutes. 

“We were better in the second half. For 40 minutes we moved the ball at a better speed.”

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