MX23RW : Sunday, January 20 18:12:03

Alvaro Morata injury a concern for Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri

Alvaro Morata injury a concern for Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri
© Reuters
The Spain international was substituted with a knee problem.

Maurizio Sarri is waiting to discover the extent of Alvaro Morata’s knee injury after the striker was substituted in Chelsea’s 2-2 Europa League Group L draw at Vidi in Budapest.

Morata was taken off in the first half, with his replacement Olivier Giroud scoring the equaliser which spared Chelsea from an embarrassing defeat at the Groupama Arena.

Morata and Giroud have shared the striking responsibilities this season, although Eden Hazard was deployed as a ‘false nine’ in last Saturday’s win against Manchester City.

The Blues have five remaining matches in December and should Morata be ruled out for any length of time, it would place additional strain on Giroud.

Sarri said: “The first impression of the doctor (is) maybe it is not a serious injury.

“But, of course, with this situation we have to wait and wait until tomorrow I think to see if the situation is serious.”

The Italian had admitted on the eve of the match that it might be difficult to rouse his players for the contest, given nothing was riding on the outcome, with Chelsea already through as group winners.

Maurizio Sarri hopes Morata's injury is not too serious
Maurizio Sarri hopes Morata’s injury is not too serious (Adam Davy/PA)

Willian’s free-kick after 30 minutes was cancelled out immediately by an Ethan Ampadu own goal and Loic Nego struck a sumptuous volley after 56 minutes to give Vidi the lead.

But Giroud’s fine free-kick 15 minutes from time earned a draw.

Sarri added: “We made a lot of mistakes from the tactical point of view. I am very happy with the character and with the reaction from the second goal.

“On the pitch there was a lot of young players so it wasn’t easy to react.

“From the tactical point of view we made a lot of mistakes. We lost a lot of ball. We can manage the ball better I think. At the end, especially with the young players I am satisfied with the character.”

Sarri absolved Ampadu of blame for the own goal, which came following a corner and Marko Scepovic’s header.

The Blues boss said: “It is not the fault of Ampadu. I think he played a very good match, especially in a team like this.”

Ampadu was one of two 18-year-olds who started for Chelsea. The other was Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was praised by the Italian.

Sarri said: “I am really very happy with Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Of course they need to improve in every way, tactically and technically, but they are in the right way.”

Vidi finished third, as BATE Borisov joined Chelsea in the knockout stages.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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