Maurizio Sarri has given his thoughts on Chelsea’s 1-0 win over PAOK in the Europa League, saying that the Blues need more killer instinct when it comes to closing out matches.
An early strike by Willian, who captained the side for the firs time in a competitive fixture, was enough for the Blues to secure an opening victory against PAOK in Europe’s second-tier club competition which they had won in 2013.
The narrow margin of victory does not reflect the level of dominance the west London club enjoyed against their Greek counterparts. Sarri’s side enjoyed 68% of the ball that allowed them to dictate the tempo throughout of the match and while the Italian schemer expressed his delight at securing maximum points away at Thessaloniki, he rued the wasteful finishing of his players.
“We were in control of the match for 90 minutes,” said the 59-year-old. “We had a lot of opportunities, we missed them, so I am really happy with the three points and the performance but not the result, because when it is time to kill the match, we have to kill the match.”
“I want to think that we have played very well. I expected [PAOK star striker] Prijovic would start but he was probably injured until a few days ago. We played very well, we were in control and I think we would be difficult for everybody to play against this evening – but I don’t know. I hope that we were so good and it is not a fault of PAOK.”
The win over the Greek side sees Chelsea continue their impressive early season form with a sixth consecutive victory in all competitions. Next up for the Blues in the Europa League are Hungarian club Vidi in a fortnight before taking on Belarusian giants BATE Borisov later next month in Group L, which they are widely expected to top without any fuss.