Maurizio Sarri frustrated by referees as Chelsea lose grip on top four at Liverpool – Evening Standard
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Maurizio Sarri frustrated by referees as Chelsea lose grip on top four at Liverpool – Evening Standard

Maurizio Sarri was left frustrated by what he believes is an unacceptable standing of officiating in the Premier League as Chelsea fell to a damaging 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.

Chelsea put on an impressive first-half show during Sunday’s Premier League trip to Merseyside, but were undone by two goals in three minutes after the break as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah struck to dent the Blues’ hopes of a top-four finish.

During the build-up to Liverpool’s first goal, Emerson Palmieri was left floored during a battle of strength with Salah.

The ball broke loose to Jordan Henderson, whose cross was headed home by Mane six minutes after the restart.

Salah soon made it 2-0 with a thunderous strike from range, while Eden Hazard missed two gilt-edged chances as Liverpool withstood an attempted Chelsea fightback.

In Pictures | Liverpool vs Chelsea | 14/04/19

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While there did not appear to be any serious appeals by either Palmieri or his Chelsea team-mates, Sarri believes a foul should have been awarded to the visitors.

Sarri told reporters after the game: “In my opinion there was a foul on Emerson, but I think the level in Premier League is the best in the world but not for the referees.

“I think the level of the referees is not in line with the championship.

“Maybe the referee was right, I don’t want to say anything about it, but my feeling from the bench was that there was a foul. But, of course Liverpool deserved to win.”

Chelsea impressed with a solid tactical display in the first half, and could have left Anfield with a point were it not for Hazard’s wayward finishing when Chelsea went two goals down.

Regarding his side’s performance, Sarri told BBC Sport: “I think we played very well in the first half, we defended very well. We conceded nothing.

“I am happy with the performance, because in my opinion we played a good match against a very good, strong opponent.

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“I think now we are going the right way, we are improving, because three months ago we weren’t able to stay in this kind of match but today we played well.

“And then we were unlucky after the second goal because we reacted very well and had three goal opportunities in three minutes.”

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