Sarri defends decision to substitute Loftus-Cheek against Frankfurt
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has defended his decision to substitute Reuben Loftus-cheek during Chelsea's Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Italian's decision to withdraw the Englishman with the teams tied at 1-1 was met with jeers from the fans, who felt he should have played the full 90 minutes and even the extra-time.
He has however defended the move, saying the 23-year-old had a crump in the latter stages of the match, and he had to protect him.
"It’s not serious but he had the usual cramp after 75 minutes. There is no preparation for penalties because you can kick very well on the training ground but the pressure is different," he said.
"You need a great personality so it’s useless to try penalties. Now we need to rest. Unfortunately, we have to go to the United States but we have 10 days to prepare for the final and we have to recover energy," he added.
Cheek has had his best season in the senior team, scoring 10 goals and assisting four times in the last four months.
He opened the scoring for Chelsea against Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night, which was his second match in as many games after his opener against Watford last week.