Maurizio Sarri is blaming himself after N'Golo Kante limped out of Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat of Watford, a win which combined with other results to ensure the Blues will complete in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Kante, 28, has played over 4,000 minutes for the Blues this season, and Sarri said the French midfielder should have been rested after going 90 minutes at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
[ RECAP: Chelsea 3-0 Watford ]
“The problem is with his hamstring,” But I think I made a mistake, because probably today he had to rest. Sometimes it’s very difficult to put on the bench a player so important, like Hazard, like Kante, but you have to do it, otherwise you risk, and I have to say I made a mistake.”
Sarri also saluted Gary Cahill, who played his final home match for the Blues following 7-plus years and 289 appearances for Chelsea. The 33-year-old joined from Bolton in January 2012.
“Cahill during the season was really very professional. He played only seven matches but he was really very important in the training ground, in the dressing room, and today was the last match for him in Chelsea and I thought it was important for him to [be] on the pitch. It was very important for the fans and for him. Here, Gary won everything and so he had to say goodbye to the stadium, to the fans, to the club.”
Kante’s absence for the Europa League second leg could be huge. Chelsea is locked in a 1-1 battle with Eintracht after 90 minutes in Germany.