Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says he can’t explain why his team has started second halves so poorly in recent games.
The Blues conceded two goals after halftime in the 4-3 win over Slavia Prague in the Europa League last night, and the Blues boss says he has noticed the worrying trend over the past ten games:
“It’s a problem we have had for the last two months where we start the second half badly. We need a solution to solve this because in the last 10 matches it has been the same.”
“Maybe at the end of the first half, we thought we had qualified already but against this opponent that wasn’t true because they are the most physical team I have seen in my career.”
“They have physical numbers I’ve never seen before so it was clear the second half would be difficult for us but, of course, we did something wrong in the first 15 minutes.”
Fans on Twitter are as perplexed about the dropoff in performances as Sarri:
I can’t understand what happens… does Sarri just get them all to relax and just sit there? All of it is very odd…
— FPL GNasher (@FPL_GNasher) 18 April 2019
If we do this at the final we will regret it the final is just one match no second leg
— Alaska (@RudeNatty) 18 April 2019
It’s painful mate. What happened? We cannot achieve anything if we switch off every 2nd half. Teams have studied this trend. Look at how we collapsed.
— U.n.c.l.e Lwanga* (@LwangaMundo) 18 April 2019
The players were doing really well until ht though
— 𝖌𝖗𝖆𝖓𝖉𝖊 (@grandeisdead) 18 April 2019
The situation is Clear no leaders sari is not on the pitch and now we conceding Screamers
— 🐐Billy Goat 🐐 (@Goat7Billy) 18 April 2019
I don’t understand how the manager can share the mistake in this. It’s all about the players how they keep up their concentration and intensity
— R Rishi Bharadwaj (@RRishiBharadwaj) 19 April 2019
I have to say, this becoming awful after half time was not a characteristic I necessarily associated with Chelsea over the last few years. It could be lack of motivation from the coach, older players more tired, but they used to start slowly and end strongly. Total switcharoo.
— Jimmy O’Hare (@JimmyOHare67) 19 April 2019
Maybe he demotivated them at half time instead of encouraging them…. They come back at half a different lot, same body, different resolute
— Domicile herb (@domicileherb) 19 April 2019
Finally! People are talking about this. It’s been a huge issue. Sarri needs to put his notebook away & concentrate on what’s been positive. It’s almost as if they come out the second half with their heads buzzing with diagrams and instructions. Next thing you know we’ve conceded!
— Carole Hope (@CaroleHope4) 18 April 2019
We need to sit deep the first 15 mins of the second half. Kante and the fullbacks stay back
— Coronation Street Fan (@coronation_fan) 18 April 2019
They put too much intensity in the first half and then come back on and struggled to play with that same intensity. It’s clear the pressing becomes too slow but to be fair these problems have been surfacing recently rather been there for a long time
— Ankit Shetty (@AnkitShetty1997) 18 April 2019
When asked about what he says in his team talk at halftime after the Prague victory, Sarri replied he has been insisting that his team start the second half with the same concentration and application but his players still don’t take heed of his words.
Although it didn’t matter as much yesterday, with Chelsea coming out 5-3 winners on aggregate, losses against both Everton and Liverpool have shown how such poor second half displays can cost the team vital points.
They will certainly need to improve when they face the likes of Burnley, Manchester United and Eintracht Frankfurt over the next couple of weeks.