Kovacic content with Chelsea debut against Arsenal


Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri ruled out talk of his side challenging for the Premier League title despite moving top of the table by edging Arsenal 3-2 in a thrilling London derby on August 18.

On the field, the first half was clearly the more entertaining, as Chelsea raced out to a 2-0 lead, only to see Arsenal claw two goals back to equalize things heading into halftime.

"I think it's normal". We have to improve which I think is normal.

"We did very well for 75 minutes of the 90, but inside there were 15 minutes [that were] frightful", he said.

"The attacking moment is all the team and the defensive moment is all the team".

But they had him craving one of his trademark cigarettes during a "horrible" 15 minutes when the Gunners forced their way back into a frenetic Premier League London derby.

"It was really very hard to answer about the last part of the first half". So we were in trouble.

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"I think the result is 3-2, but we also think we did chances to do more score". Otherwise it might be a problem. "Just for one or two years, then I will start again".

"But we need to continue and press and press and press in the other half".

"So I thought that it was better 25-30 minutes when the intensity of the game is going down, and Hazard has done two assists in two matches".

Sarri believes Hazard isn't yet ready for 90 minutes after his exertions with Belgium at the World Cup, but acknowledged his side will be a different prospect once his star man is up to speed.

Hazard's contract runs until 2020 with Chelsea hopeful he will renew to end speculation over his future.

On the touch-line, Sarri, wearing a baggy blue T-shirt and track-suit pants, waved his arms in frustration as he implored his players to close Arsenal down in their own half as the Gunners showed signs of fighting their way into the game. "We'll see what happens in a year or two years".