Last 4 Chelsea bosses beat Man Utd first time, pressure on for Sarri

18 October at 17:45
Maurizio Sarri has, by all means, had a wonderful start to life as Chelsea manager. With nine wins, two draws and one loss (coming in the Community Shield) in all competitions, Sarri has the best win rate of any Chelsea manager who has led the team for more than one match. One accomplishment that Chelsea’s last four managers have achieved is beating Manchester United in their first league fixture with the Red Devils. Antonio Conte, Guus Hiddink, Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez all managed to win first time, with Roberto Di Matteo the last to lost on their debut game with United.
 
There is much more at stake this time. Manchester United are struggling, down in 8th in the Premier League, already 7 points behind league leaders City, Liverpool and Chelsea. Jose Mourinho’s job perhaps only saved by a superb United comeback against Newcastle, going 2-0 down at Old Trafford and fighting back to win, thanks to former Arsenal man Alexis Sanchez. The international break has hopefully, for United fans, given the team the chance to recover and recoup – ready to travel to London to play Chelsea on Saturday.
 
If Chelsea were to lose, Sarri could face his first real scrutiny as boss of the Blues, as the only challenging sides the Italian has faced so far are Liverpool and Arsenal – with big games against Manchester United and Manchester City yet to come and without the challenge of the Champions League. Sarri instead has to cope with the physical stresses of Thursday night football in the Europa League, having to travel to Hungary, Greece and Belarus in their group.
 
Whilst Sarri managed to beat Liverpool once, drawing once, and defeated Arsenal 3-2, Sarri needs to be tested more before we can truly rank his performance. Sarri has succeded in picking up points against the smaller teams, something that the top five teams all have in common but has, in his defence, brought an exciting style of football to West London, with Eden Hazard shining bright.
 
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Sam Wilson (@snhw_)

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