Jermaine Jenas believes the performance of Chelsea against Manchester City in the League Cup final is a sign that Maurizio Sarri is making the Blues harder to beat.

Prior to Sunday’s showpiece in which the Blues succumbed to a penalty shootout defeat against City, Sarri’s side have had a recent downturn in results and displays, with the west Londoners conceding a remarkable 13 goals in seven games, with the bulk of those coming from heavy defeats against Bournemouth (4-0) and the Citizens, wherein they shipped six goals without reply over a fortnight ago in the league.

Yet there was no repeat of such a catastrophic result against Pep Guardiola’s side this time around as Chelsea worked on their defensive organisation to nullify the threat of the reigning Premier League champions. After 90 minutes, the Citizens just had one shot on target owing to Chelsea’s renewed focus on the defensive phase.

Chelsea’s defensive nous caught the attention of former England star and current pundit Jenas, who atrributed the shift to a rather more cautious approach to the Chelsea boss.

“Chelsea fans have been calling for a change,” said the former England international. “They’ve come up against the best football side in England today and limited them to zero chances. With the pace they have up front, you can’t help but feel Chelsea might just win this one.”

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Due to that, Jenas also appeared to imply the notion that Sarri still has the full backing of the squad, with the Blues transitioning from a conservative first half to a more enterprising second period as well as extra-time.

“I don’t think you can help but look at this and see Sarri’s players are playing for him and he’s figured out a way to make his team much more difficult to beat. If anything in the second half they looked the side more likely to take the lead.”