Chelsea are not title contenders yet, claims Sarri

Eden Hazard came off the bench in Chelsea's opening Premier League match

Marcos Alonso's late strike proved decisive after Arsenal had fought back from two goals down, but Sarri tempered any talk of challenging for the championship by suggesting he still had plenty of work to do.

When you can call Eden Hazard from the substitutes' bench, or replace Alvaro Morata with Olivier Giroud in the closing stages, it is an example of the depth that Sarri has at Chelsea, however.

Having finished fifth and sixth respectively last season, Chelsea and Arsenal will spend this campaign on the outside looking in when the elite contest the Champions League, so Maurizio Sarri has clearly made a better start than Unai Emery in the race to seal a top-four finish this time around.

"But I think that, at this moment, he's not able to play for 90 minutes, so I thought it was better to give him 25-30 minutes when the intensity of the match has come down. I am sure Eden will be with us for this season". "Unfortunately we weren't able to take all our chances".

"I think we have done very well for 75 minutes - 15 minutes at the end of the first half was awful", he said.

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"For me there were many things positive in the first match against Manchester City".

"Three points is an important target for us, we did very well for 75 minutes but inside that, 15 minutes were awful", he stated. But, at the other moments, when we are not able to press in the other half, we are in trouble. "We need to continue, to press and press and press in the other half, otherwise we will have a problem". I'm really very happy with him.

It proved to be a costly miss for the Gunners, who were undone again when Morata chased Cesar Azpilicueta's ball forward, got the better of Shkodran Mustafi and slotted past former Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.

Emery added: "It is clear the result is not good for us but the process is continuing". But he said Hazard would probably be ready to play 90 minutes within one or two weeks. And so he has to improve. He can do better in the future, I think'.

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