Malmo FF vs Chelsea FC - Sarri hasn’t spoken to Abramovich since Man City mauling

Posted Thursday, February 14, 2019 by PA

Malmo FF vs Chelsea FC - Sarri hasn’t spoken to Abramovich since Man City mauling

Maurizio Sarri says last Sunday’s humiliating loss at Manchester City did not prompt direct contact from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

The Blues’ 4-0 loss at Bournemouth last month was Chelsea’s worst since September 1996, until City inflicted further embarrassment on Sarri’s side, who suffered their biggest defeat in 28 years.

Following the Etihad Stadium setback, Sarri said in an interview with an Italian broadcaster that he “never” speaks to Abramovich, an owner not renowned for his patience.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-32 first leg with Malmo in Sweden, Sarri insisted his comments had been mistranslated when if he had spoken to Abramovich.

“No, not this week – not in the last three weeks,” Sarri said.

“It depends on the president, I think.

“I didn’t say never. Not very often, but not never. The interview was in Italian and in Italian I am better than you.

“I’d like to speak with somebody in the club, not necessarily the owner. I usually speak with Marina (Granovskaia, the director) and for me it’s enough.”

Chelsea face a crucial period for their season – and, potentially, Sarri’s future following his arrival as Antonio Conte’s successor last July.

The Blues face Malmo either side of Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash with Manchester United.

The Carabao Cup final with Manchester City follows on February 24 before a Premier League clash with Tottenham on February 27.

“We need short-term targets, and then a dream in the long-term,” the 60-year-old former Napoli boss said.

“Tomorrow is the most important. Then, on Monday, the FA Cup will be the most important.

“It’s not easy to play tomorrow after a 6-0, but we have to play and we have to play well.

“We want to win and react immediately.”

Left-back Marcos Alonso and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek did not travel to Sweden.

Loftus-Cheek has suffered a recurrence of his persistent back problem, but should be fit to be in contention to face United.

Sarri said Alonso has been rested and has “no physical problem”.

Malmo boss Uwe Rosler was thrilled by City’s mauling of Chelsea.

German Rosler is something of a cult hero at City, for whom he scored 64 goals in 176 appearances in the mid-1990s.

Malmo have not played since beating Besiktas in the Europa League group stages, having just five training games during their winter off-season in preparation for the visit of the Blues.

But Rosler reckons Malmo can expose flaws in Sarri’s side.

“I was delighted,” Rosler told his pre-match media conference. “It’s not a secret my connection to and feelings for Manchester City.

“The game they played was the beautiful game we all talk about. That sort of football inspires every coach and it was a delight to watch that game.

“I don’t think we can take Chelsea on toe-to-toe in an open game.

“It’s very important for us tomorrow to be ourselves. I think we will get opportunities. I saw areas where we can cause them problems.”

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