Maurizio Sarri would have bitten your hand off if he was given a 1-1 draw ahead of Chelsea’s away Europa League tie against Eintracht Frankfurt but given how the night went on, it’s inevitable that he would have wanted more.
His men put up a fantastic display against the Bundesliga high-flyers and will still fancy themselves to make it through to the competition’s finale after coming away with a precious away goal.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 2, 2019
The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Pedro unleashed their full fury on Frankfurt but one man, in particular, went about his business quietly but brilliantly and he’s none other than Sarri’s footballing heir Jorginho.
The Brazil-born Italian has been heavily scrutinised for the better part of the season but his performance last night might have redeemed him a little to the fans.
Jorginho regained possession the same amount of times as Kante tonight. Nine times for them being the most. Also, he won more duels than Kante (55.6% vs 45.5%) and he also had the best pass completion of the starting players (91% from 70 passes) #CFC #UEL #FRACHE
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) May 2, 2019
Ruben Loftus-Cheek who was exquisite himself last night was quick to acknowledge that the freedom with which he played last night had a lot to do with Jorginho’s reassuring presence at the back.
“Jorginho was really good in the second half, dictating the play. When he sucks players in, it gives me and N’Golo space to turn and run at defence, or get a pass off. So it really helped in the second half [when] we had most of the possession and were in control of the game [and] were a threat.” – BT Sport
— Sudip Majumder (@studipm) May 3, 2019
Captain on the night Cesar Azpilicueta was quick to join suite who attributed much of Chelsea’s second-half dominance to Jorginho:
“Jorginho is very important to the way we play. We need him to be in control of the game, to touch the ball, to pass forward. As soon as we found him with more space, we were able to then find spaces with Ruben and N’Golo, and we could create chances.”
Elucidating further on the game, the Spaniard added:
“At 1-0 down we were a bit in trouble but in the last 15 minutes of first half, we dominated and created chances. We scored the goal before half time and then in the second half; we had more chances than them.
“We knew that we didn’t start very well. We couldn’t cope with their pressure, and as a consequence, we conceded the goal. [But] scoring the goal before half-time was important, and the ambition from the team was to win the game in the second half.”
“We scored an away goal, which is always important, but it is only the first step. Everything’s going to be decided at Stamford Bridge next Thursday. We know we have to win the game because they are a dangerous team; they play with a lot of intensity.
“It’s the last step before the final: the job started in September, now let’s finish it and bring our fans to Baku.”