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A tactical analysis of Chelsea's style of play under Maurizio Sarri

ANALYST
Feature
3.63K   //    16 Nov 2018, 21:32 IST

Burnley FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League
Burnley FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League

Maurizio Sarri is so far unbeaten in the Premier League this season with Chelsea FC. Chelsea, who sit third in the Premier League table at the moment, look very comfortable as they seem to have everything in fine working order.

There is no doubt that Sarri is one of the best if not the best manager in the world. He is a philosopher in the field of football, and he turns his imagination into reality.

Sarri has his style called 'Sarriball' which he brought to Chelsea from Napoli. Sarriball involves the retention of possession, especially in the defensive third. This is also the same system that Sarri made famous in his Napoli days.


Basic idea of Sarriball

The basic idea of SarriBall.
The basic idea of SarriBall.

Sarri's Chelsea always look to retain the ball in the defensive third. They keep rotating the ball at the back, and most of the attacks are initiated from here. And it is a bonus that David Luiz has the vision in which he finds the attacking trio quickly. 

Chelsea play a high line and press the field, so that the opposition players make mistakes with the first touches and Chelsea retain the ball possession.

In the attacking third, Chelsea play vertical passes in between the defensive lineups of the opposition and break through the holes.


Defensive line

Chelsea FC's Defensive Lineup
Chelsea FC's Defensive Lineup

Chelsea's defensive lineup is kept high. Usually the fullbacks would attack, but in Chelsea, Marcus Alonso is given the freedom to join the full attack. Meanwhile, Cesar Azpilicueta stays back in his own half and doesn't contribute much to the offence. 

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David Luiz gives out long balls because he has the vision to find the right players, and Rudiger usually sit backs and waits for his prey to arrive.


Chelsea's midfield and attack

Chelsea FC's Midfield and Attack
Chelsea FC's Midfield and Attack

Chelsea FC have enough resources in their midfield to create the right amount of chances in the final third. Kovacic/Barkley, who are usually rotated in the midfield, go and join the attack while Kante stays back.

But Kante now also frequently joins the attack as Sarri has deployed his duties to Jorginho, and this forms a more formidable offence. 

Eden Hazard cuts in which allows Marcus Alonso to take care of providing widths to the attack. While Hazard cuts in, Morata adjusts himself so that he can score on the rebound or just let Hazard take a shot.

Willian/Pedro are asked to do some defensive duties as well along with attacking. Either one of them has to provide the width as Azpilicueta does not come in the front, so the right-winger does not cut in.


Chelsea's main man

Jorginho under Sarri
Jorginho under Sarri

In my opinion, Jorginho is the key man to Chelsea's squad. He sits back, soaks all the pressure, and gives accurate long balls through which the attacks start running.

The given image shows how Chelsea start some of their attacks, and this is due to Jorginho dropping back, making formidable triangles which make the team more comfortable to go for a big attack.

Jorginho has worked with Sarri in Napoli, and he could be the most effective man in Sarri's Chelsea. We are already seeing glimpses of how dangerous Chelsea can be under Sarri.

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