By 90Min
August 19, 2018

Maurizio Sarri has admitted he does not see Chelsea as potential title contenders yet, and possesses worries about his side's lack of pressing throughout the pitch.

The Italian manager watched on as the Blues eventually got the better of Arsenal in a five-goal thriller on Saturday evening at Stamford Bridge, with Marcos Alonso netting the winner 10 minutes from time. 

However, the Gunners were allowed several chances back into the game in the first half; where Unai Emery's men came from two down to level things up at the break. 

And asked whether he believes Chelsea could be title contenders this season following their 100% start, Sarri insisted he was not completely happy with his side's performance, stating to Sky Sports candidly: "Not in this moment.

"We did very well in the last 25 minutes today, but I think that we have to work, we have to improve in the defensive parts, and I am not talking about only the defenders. 

"The defensive phase of all the team, all players. Because if we press very high, we are able to do well. But in the moment where we are not going to press in the other half, we are in trouble. So I think we have to work and need to improve.

"I think we have done very well for 75 minutes. 15 minutes from maybe the 30th minute was horrible. We lost the distances I think, we were not able to cover the last third, or press as a team, only one player to player.

"I think that the players were very good in the second half. It was not easy in the final part of the first half. We want to defend by looking only at the ball. We have to stay very compact and need to press on the other half. In that 15 minutes, we were not able to do this, so we were in trouble.

"We have to improve because I think we did really very well in the first 25 minutes today, but we need to continue to press and press and press in the other half. Otherwise, for us it may be a problem. I hope we will be able to play 90 minutes like the first 25 in two months."

For the second game in a row, World Cup star Eden Hazard started proceedings on the substitutes' bench as he works his way back up to full fitness following a busy summer period. 

But Sarri is hopeful the Belgian, who play a significant role in Chelsea eventually grabbing the winner, will be fit enough to feature from the outset in the next fortnight. 

"It's clear. He is a great player, but I think that in this moment he is not able to play for 90 minutes, so I think that it was better for 25, 30 minutes when the intensity of the match is going down," he added. "But I hope, one more week, maximum two weeks, he will be able to play for 90 minutes."

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