‘He’s a great human’: David Luiz hails Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri after difficult final year under Antonio Conte
- Chelsea’s David Luiz says it is ‘easy to be a fantastic’ player under Maurizio Sarri
- The Blues defender is yet to miss a minute of Premier League action this season
- Luiz was not surprised that Chelsea coped without Eden Hazard at Burnley
- They won 4-0 at Turf Moor but Luiz would not be drawn on talk of a title race
David Luiz praised ‘great human’ Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea continued their flying start to life under the Italian with a dominant victory at Burnley.
The Blues have dropped points to Burnley in each of the last two seasons but triumphed 4-0 at Turf Moor, with Alvaro Morata, Ross Barkley, Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the scoresheet.
Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions this season aside from the Community Shield and much of the credit has gone to former Napoli boss Sarri for his transformative effect.
Maurizio Sarri’s arrival at Chelsea has coincided with a fine run of form for defender David Luiz
Luiz has played every single minute of the Premier League campaign so far, which is already more than he managed during Antonio Conte’s final year as boss.
A knee injury kept him out for much of the season, but he was frozen out for questioning his tactics.
He admitted in August that he would have left Stamford Bridge if Conte remained in charge, but has been back to his best under Sarri, who he clearly rates highly.
‘I’m so happy because he’s a great human, he knows how to teach us, he knows how to improve us,’ Luiz said.
‘When it’s like that it’s easy to understand and easy to try to be a fantastic player inside the pitch.’
Luiz was thrilled to see Chelsea secure another vital victory at Burnley and remain unbeaten
The Burnley victory and performance was particularly impressive considering it came without their talisman Eden Hazard, who is sidelined by a back problem.
‘I think we have many talented players, it’s not just Eden,’ Luiz added.
‘We lost Pedro [to illness], and then Ruben came on. This is a big club and we cannot just play with 11 players. [We need a] minimum of 18, 19 players ready to play and we are happy because we have more than 20.’
Barkley has been the player most transformed under Sarri and scored for a third game in a row, while the much-maligned Morata terrorised the Burnley defence and should have scored more than one goal.
Having scored only once in his first nine games of the season, the Spaniard has managed three goals in his last four, and Luiz is thrilled for him: ‘Alvaro is a great player, he’s doing amazing.
Ross Barkley and Alvaro Morata both found the back of the net in a dominant display
‘Sometimes when the strikers don’t score so the pressure starts on them. They love to score goals.
‘I would just say to him to keep doing what he is doing and the goals are going to come naturally like they came today.’
Luiz has already won three major honours with Chelsea, including the Premier League two seasons ago and the Champions League in 2012, but he knows it is far too early to start talking about what might happen, particularly given the competition from Liverpool and Manchester City.
Luiz has won the league with Chelsea before
He said: ‘I had the opportunity to play in many fantastic squads, I won with great teams but also lost with great teams. I think with this team it’s trying to improve every single day.
‘The manager is here for three or four months now so he’s trying to improve our style of football, our philosophy.
‘The Premier League is not easy but it’s just the beginning. We’re keeping our feet on the ground.’
Known for defensive solidity last season, only Cardiff and Fulham have conceded more goals than Burnley after 10 games.
Nine of the 21 they have shipped have come in the last two games against City and Chelsea, and manager Sean Dyche claimed they are paying the price for greater ambition.
He said: ‘We’ve got to keep moving forward because the challenge is not about these [games], the challenge is about being in the Premier League.
‘Another week we’re not going to play against teams with the same athleticism, the same quality.
‘If you’re practising against the best, then if you play against someone who’s not quite as good in theory, then maybe you make more goals.’
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