Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said after watching his side’s 1-0 win at Selhurst Park: “It was a difficult match. I am happy with the team because we dominated for 85 minutes, although we didn't kill the match, so we had to fight again for the last five minutes.”
Chelsea’s winner came from N’Golo Kante in the 51st minute .
Sarri said of the World Cup winner: “He is improving with the right timing and good movement.
“We now need continuity because in the last five matches we played very well in three, and badly in two, so now is the moment to have continuity.
“Kante has to think to defence first of all. Then about attacking. The movement was very good and the right timing. It is important for when you play a team low in density. For us, it is important to have. Now we have to work on Loftus-Cheek and Barkley for this. Loftus is a great player with the ball, but he can improve a lot without the ball.
“We have to play 19 matches, so other team’s results are not important but it is crucial to have continuity. In two days we have had four injuries, with Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Danny Drinkwater, and then today Olivier Giroud.
“Giroud’s problem is his ankle. I don't know the severity. We have to wait for tomorrow. I think that, later in the evening, I will see the doctor for the first results, but I think the real result will only be known tomorrow.
“We are in trouble because, in January, we have to play every three days.”