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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Maurizio Sarri 'satisfied' after starting Chelsea career with win over Perth Glory

Pedro's early goal the difference in the friendly in Australia as the Premier League side dominated much of the match

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said he was satisfied but maintains there is plenty of work ahead after the Italian made a winning start at the Premier League club with a 1-0 victory over Perth Glory in a friendly on Monday.

Sarri, who replaced compatriot Antonio Conte earlier this month, was without his team's World Cup players in front of a sell-out crowd of 60,000 at the new Perth Stadium.

Chelsea were still far too good for the home side - themselves playing their first game under new manager Tony Popovic - just weeks out from their Premier League season opener on August 11 against Huddersfield Town.

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Chelsea asserted their dominance early when Spanish winger Pedro scored in the fifth minute, and totally dominated the match for the most part, likely leaving Sarri wondering how they did not find the back of the net many more times.

"The result was not the mirror of the game, but it’s more important in this period the performance," Sarri told the Chelsea website.

"I am satisfied by the performance in the first half and the first 15 minutes of the second half, not the last 30 minutes.

"We lost the distance between the defenders and the midfielders, but we know we have to work. We have to go back to Cobham and work very hard. We know we have to improve very quickly."

With both sides in different stages of their pre-season preparations, Perth were under siege for long periods of the game and Chelsea threatened most times they took possession. At one stage, the London club hit the upright three times in 10 minutes in the second half.

Perth goalkeeper Liam Reddy was the busiest man on the field for much of the night, making some fine saves and watching hopefully as other Chelsea shots sailed just wide of his goal.

Slippery conditions due to heavy rain before and during the match did not help either side. Chelsea's last touch was just slightly lacking, while Glory played their best football when the tempo slowed noticeably in the last 15 minutes.

Sarri would have been pleased with the brilliance of youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi in the first half, with the 17-year-old setting up the only goal of the match.

The teenager's pace and skill was on display as he broke down the wing and produced a superb left-foot cross for Pedro, who slotted it inside the far post with a crisp volley that proved to be the winner.

High-profile new signing Jorginho was also impressive in the midfield in the first half, a promising start to his time with Chelsea, while Cesc Fabregas dominated throughout.

The former Napoli midfielder only signed with Chelsea last week after negotiations lengthened by the departure of Conte, choosing the London side over Manchester City.

Sarri is now looking ahead to the next match against Italian side Inter Milan in Nice on Saturday, and he expects greater improvement from his players.

"I expect us to improve match by match. It’s not easy at this moment because we are without 12 players from the World Cup," he said.

"It has been a difficult week with a long flight, jetlag, but at the end of the week I can say we have worked well, and we have played a good match for 60 minutes."