Sarri Concedes Chelsea Not Title Contenders This Season

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The Belgium forward spared Chelsea's blushes to drag Maurizio Sarri's men to victory, after Sol Bamba had shocked the west Londoners by flicking Cardiff into the lead.

Terry, 37, who left Aston Villa in the summer after one season with the Championship club, turned down an offer from Spartak Moscow this week for family reasons.

Meanwhile, Sarri believes Eden Hazard has room to improve, despite hitting a hat-trick in the 4-1 win against Cardiff.

"It's very hard. The gap last season was 30 points so I think to go above 30 points in one season is very, very hard".

"For sure, he will be a point of reference for me, for everybody here [if he returns]".

"I'm very happy for him", he said of Ampadu.

Chelsea's fifth victory from their first five Premier League matches took them top of the Premier League table on goal difference, but the result did not shake Sarri's conviction that his team remain a level below genuine title contenders.

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However, the Brazilian fell out of favour with the manager at Chelsea last season, but has returned to regular first team action under Sarri this term.

Chelsea have enjoyed a stellar start to the new Premier League season, and they'll look to keep their momentum going on Saturday. I think that, in a few days or a week, he'll be ready to play. "If he wants to help us I am really very happy". At the moment he is able to be on the bench. Now I have changed my mind: maybe he is the best.

Hazard scored twice in a devastating seven-minute spell before the break to turn the game on its head, both goals courtesy of superb link-up play from Giroud, who was making his first start of the season at the expense of Alvaro Morata.

"I think this season is too soon, but I hope not", he said.

Asked whether his side can challenge for the title, Sarri said champions Manchester City and Liverpool were favourites and that Chelsea needed to improve defensively.

"In the moment we are very unsafe in the offensive phase but we are not solid as I want in the defensive phase", he added.

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