Maurizio Sarri says that Chelsea would have lost more severely against Liverpool earlier this year

Maurizio Sarri told the press after his side’s loss to Liverpool, that they would have been less able to cope with the eventual winners’ pressure for less time a few months ago.

That is to say, in a rather convoluted way, that our team has improved defensively in this recent period, and were now able to compete better with a top side like Liverpool.

That may well be so, but the claim doesn’t really add up. Chelsea, back in August, took on Liverpool and very almost beat them. They played very open in that game, but rode their luck and took a chance to go ahead.

In this game, they played without a striker and sat deep from the start.

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It’s a typically Sarri style thing to do, to try and point out the positives in a disappointing defeat, something which annoys fans. Saying “we would have lost even worse a couple of months ago” is pretty weak, as excuses go.

We can survive this loss, but there is no room for error left this season.