Chelsea need Eden Hazard 'in every match possible' - Maurizio Sarri
BURNLEY, England -- Maurizio Sarri insisted that he wants Eden Hazard available for every match possible despite his Chelsea side routing Burnley 4-0 without their injured superstar.
Goals from Alvaro Morata, Ross Barkley, Willian and substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek brought the Blues back to within two points of Liverpool at the Premier League summit in emphatic style at Turf Moor, as their slick passing pinned Burnley back and ultimately picked them apart.
Hazard, who did not travel to Lancashire as he deals with a back problem picked up against Manchester United last weekend, was not missed but Sarri is adamant that Chelsea will need their brilliant Belgian whenever he is fit.
"I want Hazard in every match possible, because we have a lot of very good players but Hazard is something different," Sarri said of the player, who leads the Premier League scoring charts with seven goals in nine appearances.
"I am very happy because the team was able to score seven goals in two matches without him. That's a very good sign, but I want Eden as soon as possible. I don't know for Wednesday [against Derby County in the Carabao Cup] but I hope for Sunday [against Crystal Palace in the Premier League]."
Scorer of two goals prior to the October international break, Morata provided further evidence that he is rediscovering his confidence by poking the opening goal beyond Joe Hart in the 21st minute and troubling Burnley throughout with his intelligent movement and link-up play.
"I think that Alvaro played well," Sarri added. "He went to the ball when it was necessary, he went back when it was necessary, and he played a very good game. Probbaly he could score more. He had three or four opportunities but he scored a good goal. I think the last three or four matches could be a good restart for him."
Barkley was Chelsea's outstanding performer at Turf Moor, vindicating Sarri's decision to pick him over Mateo Kovacic in midfield by creating Morata's opening goal with a perfect pass in the first half and firing in the Blues' second from just outside the penalty area after the break.
It was the former Everton midfielder's defensive contribution, however, that impressed Sarri most as he helped Chelsea maintain a midfield stranglehold in a second half that saw them run riot as Burnley tired.
"He's doing very well," Sarri said of Barkley. "In this period he's playing really very well. He improved in the defensive phase, improved very much, and he improved in his physical condition because in the last season for him was really very difficult with a very serious injury.
"He stopped the activity for six months, so now he's improving the physical condition. He's a very good player from the technical point of view. He improved in the defensive phase so I think now Ross is complete."
The only negative for Chelsea on the day was the early substitution of Pedro, who was replaced by Loftus-Cheek after just 30 minutes due to a physical problem that was not immediately apparent.
"I don't know exactly [what it was] but I spoke with the doctor for a few seconds and he told me it was only a very strong stomach ache," said Sarri, who added that Morata complained of a similar issue before coming off in the 74th minute.
"We were in trouble in the first 10 minutes because they started very well, very aggressive. They pressed us in our half. We were in trouble. Then we started to move the ball very well, very fast, and I think the advantage [in chances and goals] was only a consequence."