Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea need to show defensive improvements

Maurizio Sarri thinks Chelsea need to improve defensively if they are going to challenge for “very important targets”.

Chelsea have made a strong start to the season under Sarri, who was appointed in the summer to replace Antonio Conte.

They are unbeaten in the Premier League and, ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, they are two points behind Manchester City and Liverpool.

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However, Sarri has outlined how he thinks his side can get better.

“I am very happy with the results and my players, but I know on the pitch we need to improve,” he told Sky Sports.

“We have quality, technical qualities, and we need to improve the defensive phase, otherwise we are not a solid team. And if you are not a solid team you cannot have very important targets.

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“When I say defensive phase I am not talking about the defensive line, I am talking about all the team because it’s very important for us to defend in the opponent’s half and have the ball there.

“The defensive line is only a result of the defensive phase of the team, so it’s important to improve as a team defensively. We have technical quality so we can be dangerous in the offensive phase and we can win matches without a very high level of tactical organisation; for that I am lucky.”

While Chelsea are challenging towards the top of the table, Palace have only won two of 10 matches.

But Sarri is expecting a difficult test from a side who have won on two of their previous three visits to Stamford Bridge.

“Crystal Palace are very dangerous for us,” he said.

“This season they have eight points, six away from home, they have scored seven goals, five away from home, because they have a lot of fast players and they are very dangerous on the counter.

“So we need to have a very good platform, especially from a tactical point of view.”

Watch Chelsea v Crystal Palace live on Sky Sports from 3.30pm on Sunday

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