Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri swerved any talk of his team challenging for the Premier League title this season despite continuing their unbeaten start with a win over Crystal Palace.
The Blues won 3-1 thanks to a brace from Alvaro Morata and Pedro’s sweeping finish – a victory which sees Chelsea rise to second in the table.
It was also a record-equalling afternoon for Sarri, who recorded the longest unbeaten run for a new Premier League manager (11 games), a feat that was last achieved by former Nottingham Forest boss Frank Clark in 1994.
The Italian has maintained since the start of the 2018/19 campaign that his side are a step behind main title contenders Manchester City and Liverpool.
However, they are now above the Reds and lie just two points behind the Citizens.
But when questioned on his team’s title credentials by talkSPORT’s Ian Abrahams after the game, Sarri gave a very cagey response.
Sarri said: “No! I thought that the first two months could be very difficult for me. I’m very lucky to work here the same as I did in Naples.
“I think in this period of the season, it’s very important for us to stay close to the top.
“We knew very well at the beginning that there was a gap – the gap between us and the top last season was 30 points and it’s very difficult to cover this gap in only six months. We’re trying to do it but we know it will be very difficult.
“I think this record [longest unbeaten record for a new PL manager] is not because of the coaching, it’s because of the team.
“I was lucky because I have players who are very strong technically so over the last two months they were able to win without any great levels of organisation. I’m not doing very much!”
Morata was the standout performer in the game with his double, which is also fifth goal in his last six Chelsea game.
And Sarri admitted the striker has a new-found confidence to his game after a difficult first season at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri added: “Alvaro improved in the last month. Improved for the confidence, improved for personality, also from the technical point of view.
“Now he’s able to play more with the team. I think also Alvaro has very great physical and technical potential. He can improve more.”
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