One of Europe's most important in that position - Sarri hails Jorginho

Maurizio Sarri hailed Jorginho as one of Europe's most important playmakers after his match-winning display for Chelsea against Fulham on Sunday.

The Italy international's first goal from open play in the Premier League handed Chelsea a 2-1 west London derby victory against the spirited hosts at Craven Cottage.

Calum Chambers cancelled out Gonzalo Higuain's opener, but Jorginho's wonderful finish from outside the box proved to be the game's decisive moment in the 31st minute.

The 27-year-old was a marquee close-season signing from Sarri's former club Napoli and has been a mainstay as a deep-lying midfielder for the Blues this term. 

The ploy worked to fine effect during Chelsea's unbeaten start to the Premier League season, but opponents had targeted Jorginho with increasing success over the past couple of months. 

An impressive display against Tottenham in midweek and a vital contribution against Fulham suggests he might be finding his feet again, though, much to the delight of Sarri.

"I'm very, very happy for him because today he scored," he told a media conference.

"But my opinion about Jorginho is the same. He's a very great player, one of the most important in Europe in that position.

"Of course, for him, it's not easy in your first season with a new team. Today he was very tired in the last part of the match, and we were lucky that [Mateo] Kovacic could come on and do really very well."

Chelsea have responded to their EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City last weekend with back-to-back Premier League victories, moving them to within two points of fourth-place Manchester United with a game in hand.

"We had a great opportunity because we were five points from the top four, but now we are only two points off. It's not easy," said Sarri.

"We have to fight until the last minute of the last match, I think. We are fighting. In the last four matches, we did well.

"I think that a minimum of consistency has arrived, but we have to continue."

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