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‘Giroud needs to score’ – Sarri disappointed for Chelsea striker but happy for Morata & Loftus-Cheek – football news

Maurizio Sarri is happy to have seen Alvaro Morata and Ruben Loftus-Cheek find the back of the net against Burnley but knows Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud also needs to score a goal soon.

Morata and Loftus-Cheek have found the going difficult under Sarri, despite Chelsea’s undefeated start to the Premier League season , with the former struggling for form and the latter for starts.

However, Loftus-Cheek made the most of his chance in the Europa League, scoring a hat-trick against BATE in midweek , and though he did not grab his first Premier League start of the season in the 4-0 win over Burnley, he did add a goal off the bench.

Meanwhile, the heavily-criticised Morata picked up his third goal of the Premier League season to open the scoring, while Ross Barkley and Willian added the other scores for Chelsea, who were without Eden Hazard in the win.

However, Giroud, who came on for Morata in the 74th minute, could not do the same and remains without a goal in all competitions for the Blues this season.

Sarri was left pleased with Morata and Loftus-Cheek after the victory, but admitted that he believed the France international could have found the back of the net as well.

“For 10 minutes it was difficult at the beginning but then we played very well. I am very happy for Alvaro Morata and Loftus-Cheek again,” Sarri told reporters.

“I am disappointed for Giroud because today I thought he could score. He needs to score.

“At the end, everything is OK. We played very well in full control of the match for the last 80 minutes.”

Sarri spoke further on Morata, who he admitted probably could have added another goal to his tally, but hopes that his recent performances can be a springboard toward something greater.

“I think that Alvaro today played well,” Sarri said. “He went to the ball when it was necessary. I think he played a very good game. He probably could have scored more as he had three or four opportunities, but he scored a good goal.

“I think the last three or four matches can be a good start for him.”

The win moves Chelsea up to second in the Premier League table ahead of Manchester City’s match against Tottenham on Monday, but the next challenge for the Blues will come on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup against former Blues star Frank Lampard’s Derby County side.

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Derby already have claimed a big name in the competition, knocking out Manchester United on penalties in the last round, while Chelsea got past Liverpool thanks to a late Eden Hazard goal.

And Sarri is already turning his focus toward that midweek cup clash, noting he expects a real challenge for Chelsea to advance to the next round.

“At the moment we have to start to think about the next match,” Sarri added. “We play on Wednesday and we have a difficult game, we want to go on in the competition.”

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‘Morata misses unbelievable chances’ – Giroud backed by Chelsea legend to provide Hazard support – football news

Alvaro Morata may find himself stuck behind Olivier Giroud in the Chelsea pecking order, says Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, with the out-of-sorts Spanish striker missing “some unbelievable chances”.

The Blues invested heavily when bringing the former Real Madrid and Juventus forward to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2017, with a club-record fee required to secure his services.

Morata did deliver 15 goals during his debut campaign, but he struggled for consistency and has been unable to rediscover his spark this term after opting against cutting short his stay in west London.

Opportunities have come his way in 2018-19, but the 25-year-old has often fluffed his lines and now faces fierce competition from World Cup winner Giroud for the right to support Eden Hazard in Chelsea’s attacking unit.

Blues legend Harris told Love Sport Radio of that selection battle: “[Giroud] seems to link up better with Eden Hazard.

“The other lad Morata is desperate for goals. He’s had some good opportunities and missed them, and when sometimes when the luck is going with you, you can mishit a shot and it goes in.

“This fella seems to miss some unbelievable chances and I just feel he’s lacking in a bit of confidence at the moment. The one that seems to be thriving with Eden Hazard is Giroud.”

With Giroud, Hazard and Willian leading from the front, Chelsea have enjoyed a positive start to the new season.

A 0-0 draw with London rivals West Ham on Sunday brought a six-game winning streak to a close, but the club are moving in the right direction under Maurizio Sarri.

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea

“I think if Chelsea finish in the top four and make the Champions League, that would be quite a good season because you’ve got a new manager coming in,” said Harris.

“No disrespect but if you ask the club or the players if they would like to play in the Champions League or this Europa – and the same with the supporters – I’m sure they would plump for the Champions League.

“If they do manage that, that would be a good start for the manager.”

Sarri has been quick to play down Chelsea’s title credentials this season, with the Italian claiming that it will take at least a year for him to get fully adjusted.

Harris hopes the Italian will be given the time he needs to deliver sustained success, with a revolving door policy when it comes to managerial appointments having done the Blues few favours over recent years.

He said: “When you look at the track record over the last 10 years, they only seem to stay a couple of seasons and then they seem to fall out and leave.

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“It would be nice for Sarri to do a stint and win a few things for the club.

“I think that, without being disrespectful to him, a lot of the Chelsea supporters wouldn’t have known who Sarri was until he came here. So obviously he’s on trial as much as one or two of the players he’s brought in.

“He seems to have bought wisely at the moment and things seem to be going ever so well for him.”

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Hazard can win Premier League Golden Boot, says Sarri – football news

Eden Hazard’s hat-trick on Saturday helped Chelsea defeat Cardiff 4-1 and earn top spot in the Premier League in the process, with the club boasting a perfect record of five wins in five matches.

Hazard’s manager Maurizio Sarri thinks that the Belgian star’s goal-scoring exploits can continue.

The 27-year-old is now the Premier League’s top scorer with five goals, and he has contributed either a goal or an assist in each of his last eight matches for club and country.

Chelsea will welcome the form of their talismanic forward, especially after the Blues scored fewer goals than all of their top-six rivals last season. Sarri is keen to unlock Hazard’s goal-scoring potential and see him win the golden boot, which would require him to more than double his best tally of 19 goals in a season.

“I think so,” Sarri replied when asked if Hazard is capable of being the league’s top scorer. “I have talked with Eden yesterday and I told him that for me he can score 40 goals. He has to improve something but he can do it. If you saw the game today, you have to say yes!”

Sarri is hoping to tweak Hazard’s game to see him focus more on working to find space and chances in the final third, rather than “wasting energy” by coming deep to receive the ball more often.

Next up for Chelsea is their first Europa League game against PAOK in Greece on Thursday. Sarri is looking to rotate heavily in the competition and confirmed that at least one of Hazard or Pedro will sit out the match in Thessaloniki.

“Hazard or Pedro will rest on Thursday,” Sarri said. “[Ruben] Loftus-Cheek has a little problem with the right tibia. You saw today he wasn’t able to play, but I hope he can recover in the next two or three days.

“Maybe it’s an opportunity I can give him a chance. I don’t know now because I want to have a very clear the picture of the situation, who are the players that need to rest or not.”

Cesc Fabregas could be in contention to return to action after more than a month out with injury, with Mateo Kovacic likely to be rested after being substituted with a dead leg against Cardiff.

The upcoming clash will also see Alvaro Morata return, after Sarri left him out in favour of Olivier Giroud for the first time this season. The World Cup-winning striker earned plaudits for his display on Saturday, after he provided the assists for Hazard’s first two goals.

Eden Hazard Chelsea goal celebration 2018-19

Hazard went on to describe him as ‘the best target man in the world’, but Sarri says he will rotate Giroud and Hazard depending on the weaknesses of his opponents.

“In the last two weeks I have seen four matches of Cardiff and four matches of PAOK Salonika and for me, yesterday I thought Giroud was more suitable for this match and Morata more suitable for the other,” Sarri said. “I don’t know now who will be the striker of the future.

“I think both, because we have to play 60 matches. For characteristics they are different, it depends on the kind of match. Today [Giroud] played very well without scoring, but very useful for his team-mates I think.”

Despite Sarri’s successful start to life in English football he has repeatedly denied that his side are title contenders, and he has cited Manchester City and Liverpool as the best two teams in the country.

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The Italian insists that while the end goal is to make Chelsea the best team in England, it could take as long as 18 months to achieve that target with defensive issues still remaining as he overhauls the club’s system to a pressing style.

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea Cardiff

“We are very dangerous in the offensive phase, but in the defensive phase we need to improve,” Sarri concluded. “We need to improve very quickly, but I think we can do it. Eight players arrived for training at the beginning of August, so I think it’s normal that in this period we have some defensive problems.

“We can cover our problems with quality in the offensive phase, but not in the defensive phase. I have to organise better the defensive phase and the players have to understand that.”

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‘Giroud is unjustly criticised’ – Deschamps hails striker after ending drought – football news

Didier Deschamps hailed Olivier Giroud for ending his international goal drought and securing a 2-1 Nations League win for France over Netherlands.

Giroud went through the entirety of Les Bleus’ triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign without finding the net but the Chelsea striker was on hand to net a 74th-minute winner in Paris after Ryan Babel cancelled out Kylian Mbappe’s early opener on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Giroud is now France’s fourth-highest scorer in history, with 32 to his name, and Deschamps warmly praised a selfless performer.

“I am very happy for Olivier Giroud,” the head coach told M6 .

“He’s very helpful for us and he’s given us the win. He’s often unjustly criticised.

“He’s very important to the team. We need him.”

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Giroud’s volley from Benjamin Mendy’s cross meant the Stade de France could enjoy the post-match World Cup celebration party with greater gusto.

“There’s a great atmosphere and it’s going to continue,” Deschamps added.

“It was the first game at Stade de France after the World Cup. Having this communion with all the people present, we had to do it [win] and we will enjoy it.”

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Giroud important but needs a goal – Deschamps – football news

Didier Deschamps underlined the importance of Olivier Giroud’s contribution to France but acknowledged the Chelsea striker needs a goal.

Giroud’s last found the net for his country in a 2-0 victory over Republic of Ireland in May, but he has since failed to score in 10 international matches.

Deschamps pointed out the former Arsenal forward was in good form for France before hitting his drought – he scored four in five Les Bleus appearances – and highlighted the fact he is their joint-fourth highest-scoring player in history alongside Zinedine Zidane with 31 goals.

“It happens to attackers that they have a longer or shorter period where they are not always efficient,” Deschamps told reporters.

“Before that period, he scored several consecutive goals. He is our fourth best scorer.”

Giroud defended himself from criticism over his goalless World Cup by arguing he does other important things for the team, and Deschamps echoed those statements.

However, Deschamps did admit finding the net would do Giroud a lot of good. 

“It is important, he has a different game. He is not in the profile of other players. When he is not there, we realise how useful he is to us even more.

“Obviously, he must not focus on finding that goal. Personally, I do not hide that it would do him good, like any attacker who is less effective.”

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After being held to a 0-0 draw by Germany in their Nations League opener on Thursday, France play Netherlands on Sunday in Paris – their first home game since winning the World Cup.

“It is a Nations League game, our second match,” he said.

“It’s not possible to hide what comes after. The emotions will be strong but obviously for the moment to be beautiful, it’s ideal we win.”

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A Frenchman or Modric has to win the Ballon d’Or – Giroud – football news

Olivier Giroud has dismissed the importance of The Best FIFA Men’s Player award and is adamant a Frenchman or Luka Modric has to win this year’s Ballon d’Or for their respective World Cup exploits.

FIFA revealed the three-man shortlist for their individual gong on Monday , with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah and Modric the three nominated.

Many were surprised by the fact Lionel Messi and all of France’s World Cup-winning squad were overlooked, with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe perhaps particularly unlucky given their strong respective seasons.

Giroud was stunned, yet he does not feel FIFA’s award has any relevance in football, with the Ballon d’Or the main prize in his eyes.

“It is very surprising, but, to be honest, I do not attach importance to this trophy,” Giroud told Le Parisien . “I’m only interested in the Ballon d’Or.

“It must be a Frenchman or Modric [who wins the Ballon d’Or]. If I could vote, I know which of my partners I would choose, but I will not tell you.”

Mbappe enjoyed a fine World Cup and caught the eye with several impressive performances, particularly his two-goal display in France’s 4-3 last-16 win over Argentina.

And, for Giroud, the 19-year-old is the best teenage talent he has seen since Thierry Henry.

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When asked if he is continuously surprised by Mbappe, Giroud said: “How can you not be?

“He is breathtaking with his talent and maturity. One wonders where he will stop.

“At the same age, I have never met a boy so strong. It’s never been seen since, perhaps, Thierry Henry.”

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