Chelsea players hold hour-long crisis talks with Maurizio Sarri’s fate likely to be linked to Europa League success

Chelsea players hold hour-long crisis talks with Maurizio Sarri's fate likely to be linked to Europa League success

Maurizio Sarri has revealed ­Chelsea’s players held hour-long crisis talks after their humiliation at Manchester City, as the club bid to save their season from imploding.

Sarri is under mounting pressure ahead of a crucial fortnight in which his future as Chelsea ­manager could be ultimately ­decided, starting with tonight’s ­Europa League tie with Malmo.

Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League could rest on their European ­campaign and a shock defeat to the Swedish minnows over two legs would only increase the sense of a campaign unravelling.

Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman, even made a rare appearance at Sarri’s press conference to ­preview the first leg as the Italian reflected on the fallout from the 6-0 battering at the Etihad Stadium: the club’s worst defeat since 1991.

“It has not been too easy, of course. But I think, after a match like Manchester City, it is normal,” Sarri said. “We talked all together for one hour the day after the match. I think that it’s better to work, better to react on the pitch.

“It’s not easy to play on Thursday after a 6-0, but we have to play and we have to play well. We want to win. In my opinion, the last game was not a problem of motivation. We were not able to react to the first difficulty during the match because, in the first four or five ­minutes, we started well. 

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