Eintracht Frankfurt vs Chelsea: Sarri Reveals Why He Snub Higuain
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Chelsea: Sarri Reveals Why He Snub Higuain

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has said he left Gonzalo Higuain on the bench because Olivier Giroud’s aerial abilities were crucial in helping defend set pieces.

The Blues played out a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League first leg semi-final on Thursday.

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“At the end I had to change [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek, and Loftus in our box is very useful,” he added. “I wanted also to change Giroud for Higuain in the last ten minutes.

“But then I changed my mind because Giroud was very useful in our box for the defensive set pieces.”

The Italian lauded ‘dangerous’ Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic, and warned his side they will have to do a better job of dealing with the Serbian at Stamford Bridge next week if they are to reach the Europa League final.

Jovic opened the scoring for Frankfurt in the first leg of the teams’ semi-final clash in Germany, before Pedro’s strike earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw to take back to London.

The 21-year-old striker, reportedly a summer target for Manchester United, has been the Bundesliga side’s star man this season, with Thursday night’s goal his 25th of the campaign in all competitions.

Pedro’s potentially crucial away goal leaves the Blues as favourites to advance to the final in Baku, but Sarri urged caution ahead of the second leg.

“We need to be careful,” Sarri told BT Sport. “We need to play with the same mentality.“They are very dangerous especially with Jovic, a great player. They are dynamic and very aggressive.”