Maurizio Sarri insulted by Burnley bench to spark tunnel melee after Chelsea draw
There were ugly scenes at the end of Monday’s Premier League clash as Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was repeatedly called a ‘s**t Italian’ by members of Burnley’s backroom team as tempers boiled over at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
The Blues went into the match knowing that a win would see them leapfrog a host of rivals into third place, but were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw as they struggled to break down a deep and stubborn defence.
After full-time, there were ugly scenes by the tunnel entrance as the two dugouts collided, with Antonio Rudiger – who is currently sidelined with a knee injury – particularly incensed.
Sarri was sent off by referee Kevin Friend and fourth official Roger East, with ESPN reporting that he ‘lost his cool’ with members of Sean Dyche’s staff – though not the Burnley manager himself.
Assistant boss Ian Woan annoyed the Chelsea bench by pointing out whenever Sarri encroached on the visiting team’s technical area, while their constant time-wasting was a huge source of frustration.
But it was the insults hurled at Sarri that really lit the blue touch paper, with the manager so upset he swerved his post-match media duties, and Chelsea’s bench confronted Burnley when the full-time whistle was blown.
As well as Rudiger wading in to defend his manager, Chelsea goalkeeper coach Massimo Nenci and fitness coach Paolo Bertelli also got involved, saying something that required Burnley goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer to be restrained by the tunnel entrance.
While Dyche played the incident down as ‘handbags’, Sarri was seething and Chelsea number two Gianfranco Zola had to take on media duties in his place.
Burnley coach Billy Mercer and Chelsea defender Rudiger were particularly furious
Zola explained: ‘He’s very frustrated, so he’d prefer not to come over here. He’s been sent off. I think he’s been offended as well, so he didn’t feel it was the right thing to do, to speak to you.
‘I think he’s been told something from their bench, but don’t ask me exactly what. I don’t want to go down that line, but we’ll see what we can do about that.
‘I think there will be a follow [up] on that. Maurizio felt very unhappy. We understand it’s a football game. You say words because of the adrenalin, but he wasn’t particularly happy.’