Gianfranco Zola: A real opportunity missed
Gianfranco Zola speaking post match- Via Getty Images

Gianfranco Zola: A real opportunity missed

Chelsea Assistant Manager Gianfranco Zola spoke after Chelsea's draw with Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

matthew-wojciow
Matthew Wojciow

Chelsea dropped vital points in the race for the Top 4, as they drew 2-2 at home to Burnley on Monday night. 

The game ended with massive disagreements amongst the two benches and even saw Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri sent off. Sarri did not attend his press conference after the game.

His assistant Gianfranco Zola attended in his place. The reasoning for this was: "The reason is he's very frustrated, so he'd prefer not to come over here. He's been sent off. I think he's been offended as well, so he didn't feel it was the right thing to do, to speak to you."

Set Pieces

Both of Burnley's goals came from set pieces and Zola was asked whether Chelsea had worked on this in training and how they just could not stop them scoring from them.

The Italian said: "We knew about that and we prepared well, that is where the biggest disappointment came. We knew that it wasn't the only way but one of the most probable ways for them to hurt us.

"So we prepared, unfortunately it means we didn't prepare enough. We had to chances to overcome that."

A big opportunity missed

Chelsea lost the chance to go into third, temporarily, as a result of the draw and could find themselves five points a drift of the top four, before they kick-off on Sunday. 

Zola reflected on the match saying: "We tried everything. It's not that we played badly. We created chances, but it's not easy to score. Maybe we should have done something more in the second half in their box, been more effective and more precise, but the desire to win was there until the end.

"There was also quality in the first half. But we couldn't get the rhythm going in the second half, and breaking down a team like Burnley when they are defending in the last 30 metres is not easy. We tried but it is not easy."

Zola the Pacifist 

Zola was one of the only members of the benches not to get involved in the arguments at the final whistle and he tried to elaborate on what actually happened between the two teams.

He commented: "It's a football game. It's normal that there's a lot of passion in it. We wanted to win, they didn't want to lose. It's normal to have tension.

"We were frustrated about what we were just talking about and also that Maurizio has been sent off while trying to help: he went down there to help Kevin (Friend) and tell our players to get into position and not to do anything. He was trying to help Kevin but Kevin misinterpreted but he was sent off so we are unhappy about that."

Zola did say that Chelsea will be contacting the FA and the Premier League about the incidents that happened towards to the end of the game.

Hudson-Odoi and Kante updates

Callum Hudson-Odoi limped off the pitch and it was later confirmed by the player himself that he has ruptured his Achilles tendon and will miss the rest of the season. 

N'Golo Kante was substituted at half-time and the injury was as Zola put it: "He fell on the foot of a player, so he had a contusion in his ribs. He couldn't breathe totally. That's why he came off. He'll be alright, nothing serious."

Kante will be fit for the United fixture on Sunday. 

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