MAURIZIO SARRI has defied expectations to turn Chelsea into title challengers but faces now face a test against a Premier League ‘master’ in Jose Mourinho.
That is according to former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher.
After sacking Antonio Conte and hiring Sarri late, Chelsea have made an excellent start to the season.
They are unbeaten in all competitions and sit top of the league with Manchester City and Liverpool.
Sarri arrived in English football with a reputation for attacking football which is a major contrast to his two Chelsea predecessors Mourinho and Conte.
And Carragher admits he thought Sarri would have needed more time to get his philosophy across to the players but has hailed their start.
When asked if there has been a shift in mentality at Chelsea, Carragher told Sky Sports: “Definitely because what Mourinho did, he came in and he sort of set a template that managers afterwards sort of replicated as it was very successful.
“With Sarri coming in it’s a complete style change really and the way they’ve started has been very successful.
“There’s a long way to go in the season and I thought it would take them a little bit more time, but this is another huge test for them.
“We talk about Manchester United but for Chelsea also this is a big test.”
United earned a crucial three points against Newcastle before the international break and Carragher feels the result will have given them a lift as they prepare for this weekend’s match.
“There was so much talk at Manchester United,” he told Sky Sports.
“It was constantly in the press every single day because it was the big story. With the internationals, it quietened it all down but there’s no doubt it will ramp up again.
“I think there’s definitely a run of fixtures in the next three or four weeks before the next international break for Manchester United and Mourinho where all eyes will be on them.
“It’s there first real big away game against the rest of the top six. The reason you bring Jose Mourinho to your club is to win the big games.
“He’s been a master at that throughout his career.
“It was good for them to go into the international break with those three points.
“The way they won there’s no better way to win than coming back like that and scoring in the last minute it gives everyone a great lift.”