By Calum Goddard (@calumgoddard)
‘Sarriball’ proved an easy task to manage last night as AFC Bournemouth romped home 4-0 winners at the Vitality Stadium.
Goals from Josh King (2), David Brooks and Charlie Daniels handed Chelsea their largest Premier League defeat since their 1996 hammering to Liverpool which ended 5-1 to the Reds.
After the game Maurizio Sarri left the press waiting whilst he held the players in the dressing room for almost an hour, in the process kicking all of the backroom staff out.
“I wanted to talk to them alone without anybody,” Sarri explained in his post match press conference.
“As I said before, I need to understand because it’s impossible to play so differently in the first half than the second half.
“I feel we played very well in the first half, in the second half we conceded the goal after two minutes and we stopped to play, because in the offensive phase we played as 11 players, not a team.”
After the defeat, Sarri seemed alarmingly confused about what had actually happened.
He added: “I wanted to understand after the match, I spoked to the players immediately after and it was very difficult for them to understand why, I need to know tomorrow in training because I want to understand why.”
Asked whether he thought the players were good enough after conceding four goals in the second half, Sarri said: “I think so, maybe we are not at the top of the Premier League but we’re competitive, we cannot lose 4-0 to Bournemouth.
“Well maybe it’s my fault, maybe I’m not able to motivate them, but if a team is strong enough they don’t need the coach.”
Chelsea have an infamous reputation for sacking managers when the going gets tough and the former Napoli man was asked whether he felt under pressure amid recent results.
“No, in this moment I feel frustrated not under pressure. Tonight I didn’t see the outcome of my work.”
Cherries boss Eddie Howe stated in his post match press-conference that he knew his Bournemouth side wouldn’t be able to control possession but admitted he wasn’t worried about that.
On Howe’s comments, Sarri explained: “No we’re not an easy team to play against, I think that we played a very good first half with some problems.
“We need more movement without the ball, otherwise for the strike in this team it is a very big problem”.
One of the most noticeable decisions of the evening was the exclusion of Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The 18-year old, who has been the subject of three January bids from Bayern Munich, was left out of the Chelsea squad following a string of excellent performances including a goal on Sunday in the FA cup win over Sheffield Wednesday.
However, Sarri was quick to defend his decision: “He was with us, he played three days ago.
“He will play in the future but we have four wingers, two on the pitch, one on the bench one off.”
During the game, a wall of noise erupted from the Chelsea away support after Sarri substituted new signing Gonzalo Higuain after 65 minutes in place of Oliver Giroud, with some sections chanting “you don’t know what you’re doing”.
Sarri responded to the fans very honestly after the defeat saying, “We’re only (able) to say sorry.”