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Sunday, February 17

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Sarri accepts he is 'always at risk' of losing Chelsea job

The Italian oversaw a 6-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday night.
By David Charlesworth, | 6d

Maurizio Sarri feels he is "always at risk" of being sacked by Chelsea after watching them succumb to their heaviest defeat in almost 28 years.

The pressure intensified on the Italian after Sergio Aguero's 11th Premier League hat-trick, Raheem Sterling's double and Ilkay Gundogan's goal wrapped up an incredible 6-0 win for Manchester City.

A miserable day at the Etihad Stadium was Chelsea's worst result since losing 7-0 to Nottingham Forest in April 1991 and comes less than two weeks after a shock 4-0 hammering at Bournemouth.

Chelsea's fans were left despondent (Nick Potts/PA)

Sarri made an encouraging start to his tenure as Chelsea were unbeaten after their first 12 top-flight matches under him but the Blues have faded out of title contention and face a battle to finish in the top four.

Their manager accepted he is concerned by their recent displays but gave a considered assessment when asked whether he fears for his future.

He said: "I don't know, you have to ask the club. I am worried about my team, I am worried about the performance but my job is always at risk so I am not worried about the club. You have to ask the club.

"I didn't see my football (against City). At the beginning (of the season) it worked. So now we need only to understand the reasons why at the moment it isn't working. We need to understand the reasons.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri (right) has plenty on his mind (Martin Rickett/PA)

"It is not easy. At the beginning, we played better away than at home. Now we are playing better at home than away.

"Something is changing. At the moment I am not able to see the reason but I have to work for this because my target is to play my football, not to change another football because at the moment we are playing another football."

Following the loss to the Cherries on the south coast, Sarri was openly critical of the mentality of his players and that he could not motivate them.

They duly responded by thumping Huddersfield 5-0 last weekend but were once again thoroughly outclassed on Sunday afternoon.

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It ends Man City 6-0 Chelsea.

A post shared by Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) on

Sarri, though, did not think they were struggling for motivation this time.

He said: "No, I don't think so. My feeling during the week was really very good.

"My feeling was that in this match the motivation was at the right level. I think we started well then we conceded the goal after four minutes in a stupid way.

"In that moment, we needed to stay in the match and we were not able to because we made a lot of mistakes against the wrong opponents. We have to say they played really fantastic football."

Chelsea's Eden Hazard appears dejected after the 6-0 defeat to Manchester City (Nick Potts/PA)

Sarri, whose side slipped to sixth, did not shake the hand of his opposite number Pep Guardiola at full-time but insisted he was merely eager to return to the dressing room.

He added: "I didn't see him at the moment but of course as usual I will go to say hello to him later as usual.

"It was by chance because I wanted to go to the dressing room and at the moment I didn't see him. I have not a problem with Pep."

Guardiola, too, played down any speculation of a rift as he said: "I spoke with (Chelsea assistant) Gianfranco Zola. (Sarri) didn't see me. I have a good relationship with him so no problem."

Pep Guardiola shakes hands with Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola as Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri walks down the tunnel (Nick Potts/PA)

The Spaniard empathises with the scrutiny Sarri is under and believes the former Napoli coach needs time to implement his ideas.

Guardiola added: "I know exactly what he wants to do. This kind of person or this type of game always helps to make our football better. He wants to try to do that.

"People don't understand how difficult the first year can be. Mine was difficult too. People expect with a new manager and buying players it comes immediately, but it needs time."



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
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