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Football news - Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri bemoans lack of 'aggression' in Manchester United defeat

Under-fire Chelsea boss Sarri bemoans lack of 'aggression' in United defeat

19/02/2019 at 06:36Updated 19/02/2019 at 06:52

Under-fire Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has defended his tactics and blamed his side’s FA Cup exit on a lack of ‘aggression and determination’.

First-half goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba left the hosts facing an uphill task in the second half, and Chelsea were unable to produce any clear-cut chances as the club’s hopes of retaining the FA Cup were ended.

Chelsea have now lost three of their last five games in all competitions, and there were boos from the home fans as Sarri failed to change the course of the match with his substitutions.

Time is running out for Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea boss

Time is running out for Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea bossGetty Images

Speaking in his press conference afterwards, the Italian claimed his side were unfortunate not to be in front before Herrera’s 31st-minute opener.

Gonzalo Higuain and Pedro were both denied by Sergio Romero during an open first half an hour, and Sarri said: "For the result, we were unlucky because in the first half we played better than our opponents.

"They are a very physical team that defended very low so it was very difficult for us after the two goals, but in the first half we played well."

"We needed to be more aggressive and have more determination in both boxes.

Manchester United defeated Chelsea 2-0 on Monday night

Manchester United defeated Chelsea 2-0 on Monday nightGetty Images

"I am worried about the result, not about the fans. Of course, I can understand the situation and the fans because the result is not good and we are out of the FA Cup, but for now I am worried about our results."

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta had said that the United game was part of five games in the next two weeks that will define the club’s season.

The return leg with Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday precedes the Carabao Cup final with Manchester City and Premier League matches against Tottenham and Fulham.

When asked how Chelsea can respond to the latest setback, Sarri added: "It's really very easy. If we are able to win three or four matches in a row, it will give us belief. But it’s very difficult to win five matches in a row."