Just 11 days previously, an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Bournemouth had set the bar at a new low in the Roman Abramovich era.The Russian billionaire, who bought the club in 2003, is not renowned for his patience with managers once the rot sets in and just eight months into a three-year contract, Sarri could soon find himself on the Chelsea scrapheap.Even winning league titles was not enough to save Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho or Antonio Conte from Abramovich’s firing line and the gulf between Chelsea and City on Sunday showed just how far Sarri’s side are from the Premier League’s best right now.The scale of the defeat also dropped Chelsea below Arsenal down to sixth on goals scored.However, while the title may be gone, there is still plenty to play for in the remaining months of the season, so do Chelsea stick by keeping faith with the ‘Sarri-ball’ project or twist hoping for the bounce of a new face in charge?Despite a run of six defeats in 14 league games, an excellent start to Sarri’s reign means Chelsea are just one point behind a surging Manchester United — who have shown the impact a new manager can make — in the battle for a top-four finish.They also face United in the fifth round of the FA Cup next Monday, have the onerous task of taking on City again in the League Cup final on February 24 and face Malmo in the last 32 when the Europa League returns this week.Unfortunately for Sarri’s job prospects, the reaction, or lack thereof, to his public lambasting of his side’s soft mentality and motivation after a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal last month has been telling.All four goals conceded at Bournemouth came in a second-half collapse, while City hit four inside the first 25 minutes at the Etihad.Yet, Sarri has also done little to stem the tide, steadfastly refusing to change his approach to the game.Chelsea midfielder Jorginho’s weaknesses have been exposed in recent defeats © AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASHis first signing Jorginho could have been on the other side of Sunday’s demolition had he not turned down the champions to follow his former Napoli boss to Stamford Bridge.It took 19 games for Sarri to suffer his first defeat, but since Spurs pressed Jorginho high up the field and exposed his lack of pace defensively in late November 3-1 win at Wembley, the blueprint to beat the Blues has been obvious.As Sarri demands more aggression, persisting with Jorginho at the base of the midfield means his most tenacious player, N’Golo Kante, is out of position.“Kante is wasted anywhere other than as arguably the world’s finest holding midfielder,” wrote the BBC’s Phil McNulty.However, in Sarri’s defence, the repeated churn of managers at Chelsea points to a bigger problem than just the manager’s tactics.Abramovich’s interest has waned somewhat amid reports he is looking to sell the club, while the position of technical director has never been filled since the departure of Michael Emenalo in 2017.“There are issues behind the scenes, a disconnect between first team and the fabulous academy, a lack of direction with no technical director and an owner looking to sell,” wrote Henry Winter in The Times.“There is no continuity of philosophy, no manager given time to build for the long term, meaning the accumulation of an imbalanced squad.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Running out of time: Maurizio Sarri’s future as Chelsea manager is in doubt after Sunday’s 6-0 thrashing by Manchester City © AFP / Ben STANSALLMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 11 – Chelsea are making a nasty habit of breaking records for the wrong reasons under Maurizio Sarri, with time running out for the Italian to avoid becoming the latest coaching casualty at Stamford Bridge.A 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday was Chelsea’s heaviest defeat since 1991.
Marcus Stoinis on Wednesday became only the second batsman to be run out on 99 in T20 cricket as Brisbane Heat successfully defended 206 to open their Big Bash League campaign with a win against Melbourne Stars.Chasing 207 for a win, Stoinis top-scored with 99 off 51 balls with six boundaries and as many sixes but his valiant knock went in vain as Stars ended up with 191 for 6 in 20 overs, 15 runs short of the target.19-year-old Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan starred with the ball for Brisbane with two wickets in his four overs while Josh Lalor, Mark Steketee and Brendan Doggett struck once each to round off a comprehensive performance for last season’s semi-finalists.James Faulkner remained unbeaten on 47 and it was his 137-run partnership with Stoinis which saw the match going right down to the wire before Brisbane managed to pull off victory.Earlier, Brisbane managed to go past the 200-run mark mainly due to a brilliant half-century from Al Ross (51 off 36 balls) and Joe Burns (50 off 28 balls) helped the hosts pile on 206 for 7 after being put into bat at the Gabba.Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (40 off 22 balls) and Ben Cutting (35 off 18 balls) also played swashbuckling knocks in the first innings.Stoinis was adjudged Man of the Match for his performance. Brisbane climbed to the top of the table owing to a better net run-rate than Sydney Thunder, who defeated Sydney Sixers in the opening match on Tuesday.
Mumbai: On anticipated lines, the beleaguered Maharashtra Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party lost four sitting legislators, one former Minister, a state-level woman leader and other activists as they crossed over to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Wednesday, party sources said. Seven-time Congress legislator Kalidas Kolambkar (Wadala in south Mumbai), NCP’s Sandeep Naik (Airoli), Vaibhav Pichad (Akole) and Shivendra Raje Bhosale (Satara) on Tuesday quit their parties and legislative seats. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Besides, state NCP’s women’s wing President Chitra Wagh also joined the BJP to a huge round of applause. All the newcomers were welcomed to the party fold by state BJP President Chandrakant Patil and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Mumbai BJP chief M.P. Lodha, cabinet ministers and senior party leaders at a function here on Wednesday morning. Patil assured that all the new entrants would be given suitable roles befitting their stature in the party as he hinted at more walkovers from the Opposition to the BJP before the Assembly elections to be held in October. The crossover of these opposition leaders took place a day before Fadnavis embarks on his state-wide ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra’ to kickstart the poll campaign.