Sarri, Emery off to divergent starts in race for top four

Rodrigo Hernandez of Villarreal competes for the ball with Nabil Fekir of Olympique Lyon during UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Villarreal and Olympique Lyon at the

Rodrigo Hernandez of Villarreal competes for the ball with Nabil Fekir of Olympique Lyon during UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Villarreal and Olympique Lyon at the

Maurizio Sarri admitted that Chelsea are not yet at the level of Premier League title challengers despite beating Arsenal 3-2 at Stamford Bridge to continue their ideal start to the new season.

Eden Hazard has been the man linked with the Spanish heavyweights throughout a summer where he excelled for his country at the World Cup, but looking forward to Chelsea's monster clash with Arsenal, Sarri has spoke with confidence that Hazard will not be on the move to the Spanish capital, like his goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois did last week.

Arsenal then drew level before the break as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi scored within four minutes of each other, but the game was ultimately settled by Marcos Alonso's 81st-minute victor.

In his post-match news conference Sarri praised Chelsea's best moments, but warned that their first-half collapse underlined just how much work they have to do to close the gap on Premier League champions Manchester City.

"We have to improve", he said.

"In that hard period, we lost the distance between players". We need to be more compact. "I hope we will be able to play for 90 minutes in two months".

Asked if he sees Chelsea as potential title challengers, Sarri said candidly: "Not in this moment". We did very well in the last 25 minutes, but I think we have to work. We lost the distances I think, we were not able to cover the last third, or press as a team, only one player to player.

"The defensive phase of all the team, all players". "We need to continue, to press and press and press in the other half, otherwise we will have a problem". But, at the other moments, when we are not able to press in the other half, we are in trouble. "We need to give the players calm and continue working". 15 minutes from maybe the 30th-minute was frightful.

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