60-year old Maurizio Sarri wins first major title of his career

60-year old Maurizio Sarri wins first major title of his career

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Maurizio Sarri says he will speak to Chelsea about his future after leading them to the Europa League and thinks he “deserves” to stay with the club.

The Blues beat Arsenal 4-1 in Baku to secure the first major trophy of the Italian’s managerial career.

After guiding his team to an outstanding victory in the Europa League final, Maurizio Sarri hailed his players’ bravery as well as the quality of their football in the decisive second half.

It had been a tight and tense first 45 minutes in Baku. Arsenal started the more threatening but Sarri’s side grew into proceedings and finished the stronger.

Coming out strongly after the interval has not always been our forte this season, but tonight in Baku we were electric when play restarted, blitzing Arsenal with three goals in 16 minutes. The boss revealed what he had told his players.

‘My feeling at the end of the first half was that the match was very difficult,’ Sarri said.

‘It was our 64th match of the season and it was hot on the pitch, very difficult to play physically. My feeling from the bench was that we were trying to manage the result. At half-time I asked my players to play with more courage, even if it meant risking to lose.

‘I wanted my team to move the ball better, and the players did it very well in the second half. We played very good football against a very difficult opponent, who are dangerous in the offensive phase and from counter-attacks. We played very good football and the match was good also for the fans I think.’

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‘I am very happy, but the front of the shirt is very important – the trophy is very important for the club.

‘The back of the shirt, the names of the players and the coach, is less important. Of course the trophy is very important for us and for me. Our feeling was we deserved to win. After we went in trouble in January and February, we reacted.

‘At the end we got the Champions League through the Premier League, which is not easy. We played a final in the League Cup and we qualified after beating the Champions League finalists Liverpool and Tottenham, and we lost by penalties the final against Man City.

‘In the Europa League we played 15 matches, we won 12 and drew three, so I think we deserve to win the Europa League.

‘I am very happy with my players, as I said yesterday. Something changed at the beginning of February. We lost 6-0 in Manchester against City but we started something different, so our feeling is we deserved to win.’

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