Sarri's Chelsea praise comes with timely warning

Chelsea won 2-1 at Malmo in the Europa League to end a run of four consecutive away defeats, pleasing head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri hopes his team cuts out on defensive mistakes.   -  Getty Images

Maurizio Sarri praised an improved Chelsea performance in its Europa League win at Malmo but warned the team to cut out defensive mistakes.

Chelsea triumphed 2-1 at Swedbank Stadion on Thursday thanks to goals either side of half-time from Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud, but a late Anders Christiansen strike gave Uwe Rosler's men hope ahead of next week's return leg.

Sarri's charges had lost four away games in a row in all competitions, culminating in Sunday's 6-0 hammering at Manchester City, failing to score during that run.

READ: Malmo 1 Chelsea 2: Barkley and Giroud earn first leg lead

And its defensive weaknesses were again on show against Malmo with a poor pass from Mateo Kovacic, deputising at the back of midfield after Jorginho was substituted, leading to the counter from which Christiansen scored.

Overall Sarri was satisfied with how the Blues responded from their City humiliation but he accepted that much work still remains to be done. 

"I am happy because we played with a very good level of confidence," said the Chelsea boss. "It wasn't really very easy after the last match, but we were confident because we moved the ball also inside our box. I think we played very well.

"We risked [conceding] only on set-pieces, because they are more physical than us. We could have scored more, I think, but we conceded a goal from a mistake.

"The level of application and attention was good. We made a mistake, Mateo's mistake, so it could have been better.

"Better because we had three or four goal opportunities when it was 2-0, so we could have killed the match.

"But I am happy with the confidence. It wasn't easy to play with this confidence after the last match.

"If we concede a goal like this to a team like Manchester City or United or Tottenham, then you risk conceding three goals in 10 minutes.

"We have to do better, I think. But I think that the performance was a good performance."

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