Maurizio Sarri defended his style of football after Chelsea were thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City but said his players were not fulfilling his intentions on the pitch.
Defeat at the Etihad Stadium was Chelsea’s third in succession away from home in the Premier League, and the manner of the Blues’ first-half capitulation, falling 4-0 behind inside 25 minutes, left Sarri unable to explain what went wrong.
The 60-year-old led Chelsea on a 12-game unbeaten run from the start of the season through to late November, but they have since lost six times.
Sarri’s men are sixth in the table, outside the qualifying spots for the Champions League and 15 points behind leaders City, who romped to victory courtesy of Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick, a brace for Raheem Sterling and a goal from Ilkay Gundogan.
When asked post-match if he had any doubts about whether his style of play could work at Stamford Bridge, Sarri responded: “No, because today I didn’t see my football.
“At the beginning [of the season] it worked. So now we need only to understand the reasons why at the moment it isn’t working.
“Something is changing. I am not able to see the reason but we have to work for this. My target is to play my football, not to change [to] another football because at the moment we are playing another football.”
Sarri rebuffed questions over his future at the club and also dismissed suggestions that he refused to shake City boss Pep Guardiola’s hand after the game, insisting he had not seen his counterpart.
He blamed Chelsea’s defeat on a number of mistakes made during a crucial period of the game but said there was no issue with motivation among his players.
“My feeling today was really very good,” said Sarri. “The area map was really good so I think the motivation was at the right level. We started well then we conceded the goal after four minutes in a stupid way.
“In that moment, we needed to stay in the match and we were not able to. They [City] played really fantastic football today.”