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Hazard as a striker helps Chelsea defensively - Sarri

14 January 2019
Hazard as a striker helps Chelsea defensively - Sarri

After the goal, I think we thought now it's easy, but it wasn't.

In the evening kick off, Chelsea were pegged back after Pedro's opener by Ciaran Clark's powerful header, before Willian's strike earned the Blues all three points.

The Brazilian forward, linked with a move to Barcelona before the transfer window closes, curled the ball past Martin Dubravka shortly before the hour to move his side six points in front of fifth-placed Arsenal.

Sarri admitted he was frustrated with the way Chelsea took their foot off the gas after the opening goal. "It's good to get the win, build up our confidence and stay in the top four as that is our main target this year", Pedro told BT Sport. "I need an option for Jorginho". Today we couldn't do that but we have the quality to do it in the next games.

The former Napoli manager responded similarly to talk Willian potential exit in an interview with Sky Sports, claiming: "You know very well that Willian is a very important player".

But the Spaniard, who will not walk away from the task and is chasing Atlanta United striker Miguel Almiron to try to solve his problems, added: "If we work like we did at Chelsea and play with the same passion and intensity, I believe we will stay up". It depends on the club decision, I think. [Hudson-Odoi] is becoming for us a really important player. I am very happy.

"We slept for 25 minutes and then we were in trouble".

The goal galvanised Newcastle and they ended the half on top, with Chelsea struggling to break them down - and there were even audible boos from the home crowd as Jorginho played the ball straight out of play early in the second period.

"We need to improve in the mental reaction".

But it took only nine minutes for the Blues to go in front as Newcastle's five-man defence was carved open easily. With Eden [Hazard] as a striker, we need wingers.

"We are quite close - we have seen that in a lot of the games against the big teams", said Benitez.