Chelsea boss Sarri focused exclusively on Palace as Premier League record looms

Virginia Santiago
November 4, 2018

We return to action on Thursday in the Europa League against BATE.

After Hennessy pushed away headers from Morata and Luiz, Sarri brought on the fit-again Eden Hazard along with Mateo Kovacic.

But Eden Hazard, back from a three-game absence with a back problem, provided the striker's second with his first touch, sending over a free-kick which Morata expertly diverted into the net.

The appearance marked just Puncheon's fourth match of the season - his third in the Carabao Cup along with a two-minute cameo in the Premier League against Arsenal. The 11 games in which Chelsea have avoided defeat in matches a 24-year-old record; if you guessed that the co-holder is Frank Clark of Nottingham Forest, then congratulations, claim your prize!

8 - Sarri's starting XI encountered problems in the first half but his management of Morata is clearly paying off, and his substitutes - it's always nice to be able to bring on the Premier League's best player this season, isn't it? - turned a hard game in exactly the way he wanted.

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As speculation persists over who the long-term replacement might be, Chelsea are reportedly eager to pounce on the turbulent waters at Real Madrid and tie down their superstar whilst they can.

Few could have envisioned a better start under Sarri, whose players have nearly instantly adapted to his methods and expectations.

The season is still young, but Crystal Palace will be relieved that so many other sides are performing so badly.

Sarri has consistently maintained he feels a Premier League title race will prove beyond Chelsea this term.

Maurizio Sarri has been impressed by Hazard's intensity in training this week and is confident he will be available to play some part in the match at Stamford Bridge.

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With Hazard likely to start on the bench, Pedro and Willian should be the wingers for Chelsea.

The Italian manager has seen great improvements of Barkley over the past couple of weeks and is backing him to play a pivotal role at Stamford Bridge this season.

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But it should be Chelsea's game if the Sarri system continues to roll on, with another performance from the Blues similar to the one they showed against Burnley last time out.

69- Goal! Game over! Only top of the league Manchester City (27) have managed more.

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Without Hazard on the pitch, Chelsea appeared to lack a cutting edge.

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