Sarri insists Chelsea ‘deserved’ their controversial win over Cardiff

Chelsea maintained their push to finish in the top four with a controversial 2-1 away win over Cardiff City earlier today.

As so often has been the case in recent months, Maurizio Sarri’s side looked lacklustre and Cardiff seemed on course to seal a much-needed win after Victor Camarasa gave them the lead just after half time with a well-taken volley.

However, a clearly offside Cesar Azpilicueta nodded Chelsea level on 84 minutes, before substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek headed home an injury winner.

Chelsea’s equaliser was not the only contentious decision from the officials with Cardiff having two penalty shouts turned down and Antonio Rudiger was lucky to avoid a red card when he hauled down Kenneth Zohore when the striker seemed to be clean through on goal.

Despite the win, Sarri’s relationship with his clubs fans seemed almost beyond repair with sections of the travelling support signing chants demanding his dismissal, although the Italian coach felt his side did enough to deserve their victory.

“In the end we were lucky but we deserved to win,’’ Sarri told BBC MOTD.

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”I don’t know if it was offside. Neil [Warnock] told me it was offside. He was sure. I don’t know because our technical area was a little bit far from the box but he was sure.”

Sarri surprised many by starting star men Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante

“Kante has played 50 matches and Hazard 47. In the last week they played two games for their national teams for 180 minutes so I thought it was time to rest them.

“We were lucky because we gained three points and Hazard played 30 or 35 minutes and Kante zero minutes.

“I am really happy for the three points. To lose today would have been really, really hard for us. We are fighting. We have opportunities so I am really very happy.”

Chelsea remain in sixth after today’s win with just a point separating the four teams fighting it out to finish in third and fourth place.

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