Manchester City subject of surprise claim by Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri

Maurizio Sarri reckons Manchester City and Liverpool are better than Chelsea – despite the Stamford Bridge club topping the Premier League table with a 100% win record after five games.

Chelsea continued their fine early-season form with a 4-1 win over newly-promoted Cardiff on Saturday, with Eden Hazard notching a hat-trick before a sumptuous Willian strike from distance rounded off proceedings.

It ensured Sarri’s men leapfrogged Liverpool into top spot on goal difference after Jurgen Klopp’s side had beaten Spurs 2-1 at Wembley earlier in the day.

City, who are two points adrift of Chelsea and Liverpool after dropping points at Wolves last month, are still the odds-on favourites to retain their title – and Sarri, despite his team’s perfect start to the campaign, is in agreement with the bookmakers

“I cannot change my mind for one match,” Sarri said post-match. “I think that at this moment Liverpool and Manchester City are another step than us. But I think we can improve.

“My target is to be the best team in England, but not in one month. Maybe one season, maybe a little more. But our target is this.

“But at the moment, I repeat, for me in my opinion Liverpool and Manchester City are better than us.”

He added: “I think in this moment we are very dangerous in the offensive phase but we are not so solid as I want in the defensive phase.

“Today we knew that this opponent is very strong in the set-pieces but we were not ready to answer. We need to improve, but we are able to and can improve very quickly.”

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