Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea a 'step behind' Liverpool, says Blues boss

Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea a 'step behind' Liverpool, says Blues boss

"We have to work and then, maybe, in one year we will be at the same level as Liverpool'".

Chelsea were denied their sixth successive Premier League win as London rivals West Ham held them to a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium.

Chelsea then return from Merseyside to host Liverpool in the Premier League next weekend.

An uninspired performance saw the Blues register just six shots on target at the London Stadium despite enjoying 71 percent possession against Manuel Pellegrini's side, who also missed several good chances to snatch an upset win.

Rice has been engulfed in a media storm since his decision to decline a call-up for the Republic of Ireland's latest round of fixtures, telling manager Martin O'Neill that he needed more time to consider his worldwide future.

Sarri also refused to use Europa League fatigue as an excuse after Chelsea's flawless start to the season ended.

West Ham squandered the best chance of the game when Andriy Yarmolenko headed wide late in the second half from point-blank range.

"They (Liverpool) are a step forward of us at this moment, ' said Sarri in quotes via The Mail".

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"We have to play against a very, very good team", he said when contemplating the league game next Saturday against the early season pacesetters.

The derby against West Ham follows on from Chelsea's first European assignment of the campaign at PAOK. It was just getting us to gel together, obviously signing nine players at the beginning of the season and a new manager, it was always going to be hard.

Sarri's frustrating afternoon was made worse by the loss of Antonio Rudiger to injury in the second half.

However, before that eagerly anticipated duel, the two clubs go head-to-head in the League Cup on Wednesday which promises to be a cracker under the Anfield lights.

"And we had three clear chances before they created one chance but you must score". I think that's right if you want to be competitive in Europe.

I see Declan working every day and I know the way he does it. Now, really, I don't know. "Maybe I will change 11 players, maybe 5".

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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