Belfast Telegraph

Maurizio Sarri considers quitting smoking after tense win over Arsenal

The Chelsea boss, whose side won 3-2 after leading 2-0, is not allowed to light up on the touchline.

Maurizio Sarri said he was contemplating quitting smoking after watching his Chelsea side secure a second win from two Premier League games.

Sarri was craving a cigarette at the half-time whistle as Chelsea relinquished a two-goal lead in the first half of Saturday’s 3-2 win over Arsenal.

The 59-year-old Italian, a heavy smoker unable to satisfy his habit on the touchline due to the smoking ban, was grateful for Eden Hazard setting up Marcos Alonso’s 81st-minute winner.

Chelsea made Maurizio Sarri anxious at the end of the first half of the win with Arsenal (Mike Egerton/PA)

And afterwards Sarri said he was planning to make up for the abstinence in the evening before then saying he was going to quit altogether.

Asked how he managed his cravings during the match and if he smoked at half-time and immediately afterwards, prior to his media commitments, Sarri said: “No, I will smoke in the evening I think.”

Sarri was reluctant to discuss his habit and when pressed on the matter his response was jovial, but whether it was a joke or serious was uncertain.

He said: “I’m going to stop. Just for one or two years, then I will start again.”

Sarri was satisfied with the performance of Chelsea who made it two wins from two games after the opening victory at Huddersfield.

In the first 25 minutes we did really very well. In quality, we are going very well. In quantity we have to improve. Maurizio Sarri

He was unhappy with a blip at the end of the first half which allowed Arsenal back into the game and which he described afterwards as “horrible”. He did not wish to dwell on that period, though.

He said: “I can speak about the other 75 (minutes). I think it’s better. I remember better good things instead of the worst.

“In the first 25 minutes we did really very well. In quality, we are going very well. In quantity we have to improve.

“I think it’s normal. We started to work all together two weeks ago. My target now is to play 90 minutes like the first 25.”

Unai Emery is still seeking his first win as Arsenal boss (Victoria Jones/PA)

Losses to champions Manchester City and at Chelsea mean Unai Emery remains in search of a first win since succeeding Arsene Wenger as Arsenal boss.

Next comes a London derby with West Ham at the Emirates Stadium.

Emery said: “Our start is an issue, but we are thinking of the next match and to work on things we need to improve.

“Also individually we can improve more things. But many things positive we are doing and we are going to keep doing that.”

Press Association

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