Europa League the best shot for Maurizio Sarri to save Chelsea future

Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri had planned to change goalkeepers from the outset in the eventuality of a penalty shootout between Chelsea and Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final - though he did not tell Kepa Arrizabalaga beforehand.

Speaking after that game, Sarri was pleased with the showing of the Argentina global despite the marksman missing a clear-cut chance on goal when the Blues were leading 2-1.

'I think that in the first 30 minutes, we understood why Jorginho is very important for our play, ' he said after Chelsea booked their place in the Europa League last 16. Now the situation is closed.

'I can kill him, but I don't think it is right.

'I remained calm because I know what fans are like... they have the right to complain.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says the midfielder needs his team-mates to develop their "understanding" of the manager's preferred style.

'Kepa is a man.

"In seven days, we played 120 minutes in a very hard match against City and 90 minutes - very expensive (in terms of energy) - against Tottenham and today we had to play a very important derby". "Because we were five points from the top four, but now we are only two points off".

The Italian did not reveal beforehand whether Kepa or Caballero would start against Fulham, but his decision to go with the former paid off as Chelsea secured their second Premier League triumph on the bounce for the first time since they beat Watford and Crystal Palace in successive games over the festive period.

Kepa's return nearly started in embarrassing fashion when he made a complete hash of catching Kevin McDonald's cross in a swirling wind, the ball slipping through his grasp as he was challenged by Ryan Babel.

Chelsea legend Pat Nevin has insisted Tottenham Hotspur can not be confident of securing a top three finish in the Premier League after their poor run of form in recent weeks.

The keeper produced a vital late save to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic as Fulham pushed for an equaliser.

Chelsea fans could not resist the opportunity to poke fun at Danny Drinkwater after the club took to social media to wish him a happy birthday. Brazilian Jorginho put Chelsea back in front in the 31st, thumping in a cut-back ball by Eden Hazard from outside the area.

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