Sarri at a loss to explain Chelsea display in Everton defeat

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Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2018-19
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The Blues suffered their first loss since the Carabao Cup final and their manager found himself unable to explain how they ended up on the wrong end

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri admitted that he was at a loss to explain how his side capitulated to a 2-0 defeat against Everton in the Premier League on Sunday to inflict damage upon their top four hopes.

Goals for Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurosson handed Marco Silva’s side a major win to put themselves 10 points clear of the bottom three, and condemn the Blues to a first loss since their Carabao Cup final penalty shootout heartbreak against Manchester City.

The visitors enjoyed a dominant performance for the most part at Goodison Park yet were unable to convert their chances and ultimately left Merseyside with nothing, much to the frustration of their manager.

Speaking to Sky Sports post-match, Sarri acknowledged that he did not understand how Chelsea ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline given their initial performance.

“I don't know [what happened],” the Italian stated. “The players don't know what happened and at the moment I can't explain the change.

“We played, in my opinion, the best first half of the season and we could have scored four or five times and then suddenly we stopped playing.

“It is very strange. We stopped to defend and to counter-attack, everything. [We became] another team, I don't know.

"We only had to continue. We were in control of the match. We played very well, we defended very well.

“We needed to continue and by the end of the second half we didn't play, without defending. It is strange. I cannot understand.

Pedro Chelsea 2018-19

"Tactically if you don't play, you don't play with every system. We changed the system but it was the same. It is very difficult.

“I think the problem was mental so if you have a mental problem suddenly on the pitch the system and the tactics are not enough.

“We started the match with a very strong intensity and a very strong mentality. I don't know what happened.”

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However, Sarri stated that his side would not be giving up on their top four ambitions, adding: "It is very hard but I think we have to play eight matches.

“We have to fight in the future for our possibilities.”

Chelsea return to action after the international break with a visit to Cardiff City on March 31.