Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has warned his team to tighten up defensively if they want to challenge Liverpool or Manchester City for the Premier League title - but told supporters he will not take the "easy option" of buying his way out of the problem in January.
On Wednesday when Sarri named a largely second team in the Carabao Cup clash with Derby County, Moses was not even in the matchday squad prompting questions on his continued stay with the London side. 'We defended well at Burnley, then three days later we weren't able to defend in the same way. It is unsafe to not have continuity, we need to improve continuity. He made an enormous impression, played extremely well and was a decisive figure towards the end of the season when we started to really climb up the league.
"We didn't want to lose any of that team".
And though it looks unlikely the Eagles will make it three from four at Stamford Bridge, with Zaha getting at the Chelsea defence Palace are practically a sure bet to score. It is important to be solid to be competitive. We are trying. I don't know how many points we can cover in the near future but first of all we try to cover the gap and then we can try to think something different.More news: China congratulates Jair Bolsonaro on election as Brazilian president
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As Sarrismo has Chelsea applying constant pressure on opposition defences, the Blues have nearly always managed to get at exhausted opponents as the game goes on - as shown with Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser against Manchester United. "At the moment we can think only that we need to cover the gap". Alvaro Morata slots in from close range!
Sarri has been warning for weeks that Chelsea's defensive frailties will prevent them from keeping pace with City and he was proven right here, as Palace's speed and skill caused them fits on the counter-attack.
The Blues was perfectly positioned to get a second but too many good chances went a begging from the likes of Morata and Pedro early on. The Belgian global returned to training on Thursday but Sarri says he's not ready to play the full ninety minutes just yet so Hazard may have to make-do with a place on the bench.
"I don't think it will stop Hazard going there". For the market, there is the club. We didn't use 26 players in Naples but I have to choose about this situation of the club. When I arrived here the gap was 30 points, so the first step is to try and cover the gap.