By 90Min
February 22, 2019

Despite facing heavy criticism for Chelsea's poor form, manager Maurizio Sarri actually boasts a better record in his first 43 matches in England than Manchester City mastermind Pep Guardiola.

The Blues were comprehensively beaten by both Bournemouth and Manchester City recently and many fans and pundits have begun to question Sarri's methods. 

Both his preferred tactics and substitutions have been subject to debate, but Chelsea remain in the hunt for Champions League qualification for next season.

However, statistics from Opta show Sarri's record of 28 victories in his first 43 games actually trumps that of Guardiola, who could only manage 27 wins in the same time frame.

A large part of Sarri's impressive record is down to the side's fantastic start to the season. In all competitions, Chelsea managed 14 wins and four draws before suffering their first loss - a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham in late November.

Unfortunately for Sarri, the Blues have failed to maintain this form, which has left many fans frustrated. The Italian has been accused of lacking tactical flexibility and understanding, with a large section of supporters growing concerned that he has no alternative to his primary tactic, which has proven to be largely ineffective as the season has progressed.

Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

Now, with Chelsea facing a battle to finish in the top four of the Premier League, Sarri faces a critical period in his Stamford Bridge tenure. Guardiola managed to guide City to a third placed finish in his first season with the club, and Sarri will be desperate to achieve a similar result this year.

During the 2016/17 season, Guardiola's first defeat came in early October in a 2-0 loss to Tottenham, with that result followed by draws with both Everton and Southampton. 

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In the same month, City lost to both Manchester United and Barcelona in cup competitions, but Guardiola managed to resolve his side's issues and, after strengthening his squad in the summer of 2017, succeeded in turning City into one of Europe's most dangerous sides.

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