Sarri applauds Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Maurizio Sarri hailed Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the future of Chelsea, after the young guns inspired a crucial 3-0 English Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Sarri couldn't afford a negative result against struggling Brighton at Stamford Bridge, after being subjected to fresh calls for his sacking during last Sunday's unconvincing win at Cardiff City.
The angry Chelsea fans who showed their displeasure then were in part motivated by Sarri's refusal to select England winger Hudson-Odoi.
But Sarri finally unleashed Hudson-Odoi for his first Premier League start, while Loftus-Cheek also made the most of a rare appearance as the youngsters bolstered Chelsea's bid for a top-four finish.
Hudson-Odoi set up Olivier Giroud's first-half opener and Loftus-Cheek provided the assist for Eden Hazard's superb second.
England midfielder Loftus-Cheek capped a morale-boosting victory for the troubled Blues when the 23-year-old netted a majestic third to kill off FA Cup semi-finalists Brighton.
"The youngsters played very well, but I was already sure about it. Callum now is ready to play in every match tactically," Sarri said.
"He improved a lot during the season. I'm really very happy with him because he also defended well.
"He is happy, but I told him he missed an easy chance in the first half! He has to stay with his feet on the ground."
Chelsea are up to fifth place, behind fourth-placed Arsenal on goal difference.
Achieving the Champions League target is essential for Sarri, as he battles to avoid the sack.
"Loftus-Cheek for the first time this season is without a problem with his back. He scored a wonderful goal and played well," Sarri said.
"I hope they can be the future of the club. They can become top players. Callum can be one of the best in Europe."
Hudson-Odoi, who has been involved in nine goals in his nine starts in all competitions, said: "The manager told me to go and express myself. I feel comfortable. Hopefully, I did well."
Loftus-Cheek added: "We have both worked all of our lives for this chance, years of hard work and now we start in a n EPL game together. That's good for the academy." - AFP
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