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Maurizio Sarri Scolds Chelsea Team, Salah Shines & Napoli Pull Within Six

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Maurizio Sarri Scolds Chelsea Team, Salah Shines & Napoli Pull Within Six

Chelsea’s Willian (left) and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang battle for the ball

Maurizio Sarri’s scathing criticism of his Chelsea team following their defeat to Arsenal was the major news to emerge from the weekend’s football action in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.

The Blues succumbed 0-2 away to the Gunners on Saturday evening, with Alexandre Lacazette and Lauent Koscielny scoring the goals to see their side close to within three points of the top four.

“I have to say, I’m extremely angry. Very angry indeed,” said Sarri after the match. “This defeat was due to our mentality, more than anything else. This is something I can’t accept. This group of players are extremely difficult to motivate.”

He added, “This is not a team that is going to be well known for its battling qualities but we need to become a team that is capable of adapting, possibly suffering for 10 or 15 minutes then playing our own football. You can find yourself in difficulties from time to time, but we need to react to those difficulties a lot better than we did today.”

Elsewhere in England, Liverpool saw Mohamed Salah reach the 50-goal mark in the Premier League in their thrilling 4-3 win over Crystal Palace; Manchester City responded in the title race with an easy win away to Huddersfield Town; and Manchester United claimed a sixth straight league win by defeating Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 to join Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League berth.

In Serie A, Napoli closed to within six points of leaders Juventus with a 2-1 home win over 10-man Lazio at Stadio San Paolo on Sunday evening. Goals from Jose Callejon and Arkadiusz Milik secured victory for the Neapolitans, while Lazio had their hopes of comeback stunted by a red card for Francesco Acerbi. However, Juve can restore the lead to nine points if they win at home to Chievo tonight.

Elsewhere in Italy, Internazionale’s hopes of chasing down the top two were hit by a goalless draw at home to Sassuolo, Atalanta continue to impress with a 5-0 away win at Frosinone (featuring four goals from Daniel Zapata) and Ivory Coast legend Gervinho netted for Parma in their 2-1 win at Udinese.

In La Liga, the only major movement near the top of the log saw Real Madrid slip into third place after their 2-0 home win over Sevilla on Saturday. Los Blancos had to work hard for the three points, with their goals from Casemiro and Luka Modric only arriving in the 78th and 90th minutes respectively.

Atletico Madrid kept up the pressure on Barcelona with a 3-0 win at Huesca, but the league leaders responded with a 3-1 home win over Leganes on Sunday night in which Ousmane Dembele scored the opening goal and gave a fine performance.

Serie A results & fixtures, 19-21 January

Saturday 19 January

Roma 3-2 Torino

Udinese 1-2 Parma

Internazionale 0-0 Sassuolo

Sunday 20 January

Frosinone 0-5 Atalanta

SPAL 1-1 Bologna

Fiorentina 3-3 Sampdoria

Cagliari 2-2 Empoli

Napoli 2-1 Lazio

Monday 21 January

6pm Juventus v Chievo

8pm Genoa v Milan

La Liga results & fixtures, 18-21 January

Friday 18 January

Getafe 4-0 Deportivo Alaves

Saturday 19 January

Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla

Huesca 0-3 Atletico Madrid

Celta de Vigo 1-2 Valencia

Sunday 20 January

Real Betis 3-2 Girona

Villarreal 1-1 Athletic Bilbao

Levante 2-0 Real Valladolid

Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Real Sociedad

Barcelona 3-1 Leganes

Monday 21 January

8pm Eibar v Espanyol

Premier League results & fixtures, 19-20 January

Saturday 19 January

Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-3 Leicester City

Bournemouth 2-0 West Ham United

Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace

Manchester United 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Newcastle United 3-0 Cardiff City

Southampton 2-1 Everton

Watford 0-0 Burnley

Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea

Sunday 20 January

Huddersfield Town 0-3 Manchester City

Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

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Ameyaw Kissi Debrah, known professionally as Ameyaw Debrah, is a Ghanaian celebrity blogger, freelance journalist, and reporter.

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