Maurizio Sarri said Chelsea’s defence must improve after they stumbled to a 1-0 win over MOL Vidi in the Europa League.
Sarri’s side were indebted to Alvaro Morata’s second-half volley for earning them another three points against the Hungarians, who had chances to cause an upset at Stamford Bridge.
Emerson cleared an early header off the line, Loic Nego came close to opening the scoring before half-time and substitute Istvan Kovacs forced Kepa into a full-length save late on.
“It was very hard,” Sarri said. “In the first half, we had opportunities to score, we didn’t take them and so in the second half it was very hard.
“It was an important three points, we created a lot of opportunities, but we conceded some to our opponents. We have to do better in the defensive phase and avoid counter-attacks.”
Sarri was delighted to see Morata break a goal duck stretching back to Chelsea’s 3-2 win over Arsenal in August, in spite of the Spanish striker’s inconsistent night in front of goal.
“I’m very happy for him, it’s very important for him to score, but also to have a good match, I think he had a good match and it’s important for him to play like he did this evening,” he said. “Alvaro can restart from this performance.”
Vidi manager Marko Nikolic said he had “mixed feelings” after running Chelsea so close, but ending the night with zero points from two games in Group L and looking unlikely to qualify for the round of 32.
“I want to congratulate our players and say they played very well and made it a very interesting match for the fans, but we missed too many chances for a game like this,” he said.
Nikolic was also questioned on whether Gary Cahill should have been dismissed for what appeared a foul on Boban Nikolov before half-time, and said: “It was a questionable decision for sure, if it was given it would be a player down and a penalty or a free-kick for us.”