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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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Loftus-Cheek eyes consistency to earn place after Chelsea treble – football news

Ruben Loftus-Cheek says maintaining “good habits” is his only path to regular first-team opportunities after scoring a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over BATE.

The often-overlooked 22-year-old issued a reminder of his talents to Maurizio Sarri as he netted twice in the opening eight minutes before finishing off the visitors with a third shortly after half-time.

Aleksey Rios did grab a late consolation for BATE but it was far from enough to derail Chelsea’s stroll to a third successive Europa League victory.

Nor did it overshadow the standout performance from England international Loftus-Cheek, who will not be getting carried away in his bid for a first Premier League start of the season.

“The first thing in my head is to keep playing well, to keep sharp in case I do get an opportunity to start,” the midfielder told BT Sport.

“I need to keep up good habits, eating well, sleeping well, training well and hopefully my opportunity will come.

“The manager said to win this, and that the target is top of the group. It’s a really nice feeling [to perform well]. It’s my first hat-trick for a while, even for the youth team.

“Any player will tell you it’s nice to score a hat-trick. Hopefully there are many more to come.”

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Victory at Stamford Bridge on Thursday took Chelsea six points clear of their three opponents in Group L.

Sarri’s men will now switch attention to remaining unbeaten in the Premier League when they visit Burnley on Sunday.

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VIDEO: Loftus-Cheek has Chelsea breakout with hat-trick in Europa League – football news

It took Ruben Loftus-Cheek eight minutes to equal his goal output for his Chelsea career. It took him 53 minutes to surpass it.

The England international stepped up to deliver a hat-trick in the Blues’ 3-1 Europa League victory with Belorussian side BATE on Thursday, and in the process more than doubled his goal output for the club.

Loftus-Cheek has long struggled to find a place with Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and now Maurizio Sarri despite tantalising potential.

Coming into the season, the midfielder had played in just 22 Premier League games with the Blues and started only six of them. In total, he had just two goals for Chelsea in his time there.

A move to Crystal Palace last season proved massive for Loftus-Cheek’s career, at least internationally, as his performance with the Londoners proved enough to earn him a spot on England’s World Cup roster.

But despite his success for Palace and the Three Lions, Sarri had not shown much love for Loftus-Cheek, the midfielder having seen just 33 minutes in the league this season and been relegated to Carabao Cup and Europa League duty.

However, after his performance against BATE, the Italian manager might be rethinking his role.

It took only a couple of minutes for Loftus-Cheek to score his first of the game, and season, when he latched onto a low cross by David Zappacosta and slid it into the back of the net.

And while he had managed just two goals in his previous 35 with Chelsea, he matched that total in just eight minutes after managing to get onto a corner and poke it home despite being held by a defender to double Chelsea’s advantage.

Loftus-Cheek’s night would get even better in the second half with his best effort of the evening as the midfielder ripped a low drive from just outside the area which gave him a hat-trick and Chelsea a 3-0 lead.

It was the first hat-trick for an English player in the Europa League since Harry Kane managed it four years ago against Asteras Tripolis.

It was also the first Chelsea hat-trick in Europe since Didier Drogba in 2006, and the first English Chelsea player to do so for the Blues since Peter Osgood and Tommy Baldwin scored five and three goals respectively in the 1971 Cup Winners Cup.

The three goals on the evening came one short of matching his career output to date, as he had scored twice for Palace in addition to the pair he’d previously scored with the Blues.

Loftus-Cheek will have an opportunity to get his first Premier League start of the season when the Blues face Burnley this weekend.

However, if he doesn’t make the XI for that clash, it seems likely he’ll receive another chance to impress against Derby County in the Carabao Cup midweek.

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Hodgson eager to bring Loftus-Cheek back to Palace – football news

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has vowed to try to bring Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to the club if he concedes defeat in his battle for first-team football at Chelsea.

Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan at Palace and impressed enough to earn a place in England’s World Cup squad, returning to Stamford Bridge for 2018-19 in the hope of enjoying more game time following the exit of Antonio Conte.

But with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic adding to the January signing of Ross Barkley, new coach Maurizio Sarri is spolied for choice in midfield, so much so that neither Danny Drinkwater nor Cesc Fabregas have made a single Premier League appearance this term.

Loftus-Cheek has featured just twice from the bench, and has not played enough to persuade Gareth Southgate to pick him in the latest England squad. 

Hodgson remains an admirer of the 22-year-old, and indicated he’d be happy to bring the midfielder back on loan should the opportunity arise. 

“Ruben Loftus-Cheek did an outstanding job for us when he came here,” Hodgson told reporters on Friday.

“He really answered all the questions that we hoped he would answer, and luckily for us, and even more for him, it got him recognised by the national team.

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“He found himself in Russia representing England, which was a perfect end to the season he had for us.

“We admire him, we like him very much and we wish him well, and of course, like a lot of other clubs, I’m sure when the day comes when he becomes available for a transfer, we will be sticking our noses into that, but whether we will get him again, that’s another matter. Who knows, we will see.”

Palace will face Wolves on Saturday at Selhurst Park in Premier League action.

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Sarri deals blow to Loftus-Cheek and Chelsea kids’ Europa League hopes – football news

Maurizio Sarri expects to make changes for Chelsea’s Europa League opener at PAOK, but hinted young players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi are unlikely to feature.

Much has been made of Loftus-Cheek’s Chelsea situation in recent months, as he impressed on loan at Crystal Palace last term and forced his way into England’s World Cup squad.

He was tipped to become a rotation option at Chelsea upon his return to Stamford Bridge, but he has played just 33 minutes of Premier League football across two cameo appearances off the bench so far.

Similarly, Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi are yet to play at all, despite the Wales international impressing with his country and the latter being earmarked for a first-team role in pre-season by Sarri.

Despite several regulars such as Eden Hazard and Mateo Kovacic being rested, and Sarri likely to make up to five changes, the youngsters will likely be disappointed.

“I don’t know about Loftus-Cheek,” Sarri told reporters when asked if the midfielder was in line for a rare chance to stake his claim.

“For me, he is a very good player. I don’t know if there is a spot tomorrow. There is in the future.

“Now it is very difficult, because in the first part of the season it is very important to play with a very solid team. I might change four or five players, it is impossible to change every player in the match.

“I don’t know [if Loftus-Cheek is growing frustrated]. Unfortunately, you have to play with 11 players, 17 players tomorrow [Thursday] won’t agree with me.

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“There is a match Thursday and on Wednesday after Sunday at West Ham. There will be a chance for everyone, but not for 25 or 28 players – the truth is this.

“For Hudson-Odoi, in his position in the last match we played Pedro and Hazard. I have also played [Victor] Moses and Willian.

“Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi and Loftus are the future. I don’t know if the right time tomorrow is for Odoi.”  

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