Maurizio Sarri admits Chelsea’s recent draw with Liverpool was too enthralling a contest for him to be left rueful.
The Blues missed out on the chance to go clear at the top of the Premier League table when they conceded a stunning 89th minute equaliser from substitute Daniel Sturridge.
It was nothing more than Liverpool deserved on the day having pushed hard for a second-half goal and produced another imperious defensive performance.
Sarri has revealed a conversation he had with a surprisingly sprightly Jurgen Klopp at a time when his side were still trailing the hosts.
There are moments when the grand spectacle of it all convinces you to put aside any regrets,” Sarri told Corriere dello Sport. “Even if you concede at the last minute or five minutes into stoppages.
“That was an extraordinary show. Just 10 minutes earlier, I saw Klopp looking at me with the game going on. I asked: ‘Why are you smiling?’ He replied: ‘Aren’t you having fun?’
“I said: ‘So much’ and he added ‘Me too’. He was losing at the time. Even after the equaliser, remembering that moment, we hugged like two old friends.”
The conversation marked a refreshing moment of respect between two managers admirably keen on seeing both sides play attractive attacking football.
It took a combination of Chelsea’s slick possession football and a rare lapse in concentration from Liverpool’s defence for Eden Hazard to give his side a first-half lead.
Sarri’s men proceeded to resist sustained pressure from the Reds with their own assured display at the back, as Klopp urged his side forward on the foundation of an unflinching back four.
The German flexed his squad depth with the bold introductions of Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and Sturridge, before the latter conjured the moment of individual ingenuity that had been needed.
A point apiece was the right result.