Maurizio Sarri's Actions Against Malmo Prove He's Lost His Way
Maurizio Sarri has seen his side be embarrassed by Bournemouth, Manchester City and Manchester United in recent weeks and against Malmo his actions suggested the pressure is really getting to him.
There's no way anyone could have expected what would happen to Chelsea in recent weeks back when they were unbeaten in November and keeping pace at the top of the Premier League table with Liverpool and Manchester City.
In the last couple of weeks though the Blues have lost 4-0 to Bournemouth, followed that up with a 6-0 loss to league leaders City and then were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United, at Stamford Bridge.
Manager Maurizio Sarri has come in for loads of criticism from his insistence on playing only one way, to the predictability of his substitutions and the lack of game time for the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi.
On Thursday the Blues had the chance to get a bit of confidence back as they faced Malmo in the second leg of the Europa League last 32.
However in the first half the Premier League side were flat, their Swedish opponents had more shots, and the manager could be seen shouting at himself:
Ten minutes gone and, far from dominating their opponents, Chelsea have already allowed Malmo to twice threaten the goal while Kovacic and Azpilicueta have given the ball away. Sarri is screaming at himself on the touchline.... clearly, he's feeling the pressure. #CFC #UEL- Vaishali Bhardwaj (@VaiBhardwaj) February 21, 2019
HT: Chelsea 0-0 Malmo. Agg: 2-1. One of the dullest first halves of football I've seen in a long time. And the bar is set pretty low. Chelsea booed off. Dreadful stuff from Sarri's side.- Dan Levene (@danlevene) February 21, 2019
Chelsea looking so nervous, given they're 2-1 up from the first leg, and up against a side that hasn't played regular football in three months.- Dan Levene (@danlevene) February 21, 2019
Things did improve for Chelsea in the second half with Olivier Giroud's goal before the hour mark giving them a 3-1 advantage on aggregate and meant they were almost certainly through to the next round.
Worryingly for the former Napoli boss is that on Sunday they face City once again in the Carabao Cup final. A win would make things a hell of a lot better but Blues' fans will be worried about a repeat of the pairs recent league game.
Can Sarri turn things around at Stamford Bridge?