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More Woes For Sarri As Chelsea Lose Again

Maurizio Sarri has admitted it will be ‘impossible’ for Chelsea to qualify for the Champions League if their shocking second half at Everton is consistently repeated.

The Chelsea head coach was left perplexed at the manner in which his team surrendered a position of strength at Goodison Park and disintegrated in the second 45 minutes, enabling the hosts to beat top six opposition for the first time in 26 attempts.

There was no sign of such an outcome during the first half, as Chelsea controlled the tempo, but the way in which they folded after Richarlison had opened the scoring left Sarri to openly question the mentality of his squad, who fluffed the opportunity to put pressure on their top-four rivals.

‘I’m worried about our mentality,’ said Sarri, whose side have lost four of their last five Premier League away fixtures, conceding 15 goals in the process.

‘I think the situation is clear. We played probably the best 45 minutes of the season.

‘Then, suddenly, at the beginning of the second half, we stopped playing. I don’t know why. So the situation is clear. It is impossible the problem is a physical problem because if you have a physical problem, you go down gradually, not in one second.

‘We played really very well until the last minute of the first half and then suddenly very badly in the first minute of the second half. It’s very difficult for players to explain to me the change. Very difficult for me to explain to you the change. It is a mental block, I think.

‘At the moment, it is our limit, I think because if we are able to play like in the first half, with consistency, I think we are in another position in the table but we have this problem. If we play like we did in the first half, anything is possible. If we play as we did in the second half, it is impossible.

Sarri, whose side failed to threaten a comeback after going behind, added:

‘It is a big limit for is because we lost a similar match in Wolverhampton. This was really, really important for us. Now we have one less opportunity but I think we have to fight to defend those opportunities.’

If Sarri felt embattled, Marco Silva was breathing easier after the best day of his Everton career. The last time the club had celebrated such a success was when they skewered Manchester City 4-0 in January 2017. It was the perfect response to a desperate result at Newcastle last weekend.

‘To be honest, I didn’t know those numbers before the match,’ said Silva, who saw the points made safe when Gylfi Sigurdsson added a second. ‘It’s not a normal thing for a club like us, not winning so many times against strong sides.

‘But for our quality as a club how big we are as a club, it’s something that can’t happen again. It’s up to us to work together for it to be more normal for us to beat these strong sides.’