Chelsea boss Sarri “offended” by touchline exchange with Burnley backroom staff

Sources suggest members of Burnley’s backroom staff “offended” Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri by calling him "s*** Italian" during Monday night’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 12:35 pm
Maurizio Sarri

The former Napoli boss was sent from the touchline towards the end of the game as his frustrations boiled over at his side’s failure to beat the Clarets.

The game ended with angry scenes, with goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer clearly infuriated by Chelsea’s injured German centre back Antonio Rudiger, while David Luiz, who accused Burnley of playing “anti-football” - despite his own blatant first half dive which went unpunished - was still making his point made to Ashley Barnes as the players left the pitch.

ESPN FC have reported that Sarri - who entered Burnley’s technical area on numerous times, and wandered up and down the touchline - was called a "s*** Italian" by several staff on the bench, not including boss Sean Dyche.

His assistant Gianfranco Zola took on his press duties, claiming Sarri was “frustrated” and “offended”, with the exchange between the dugouts likely to be included in referee Kevin Friend’s report.

Blues legend Zola - who took over as Watford boss from Dyche in 2012 - said: ."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 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."

After the game Dyche laughed off any confrontation, saying it was: hand bags, man bags, bum bags, I don’t know what you’re allowed to call it without offending anyone anymore.

“I don’t think anything of it.

“We are allowed to get a point every now and again at these places...”

But Dyche explained he had spoken to Zola about Sarri repeatedly making his way into Burnley’s technical area: "He said at half-time he is not quite getting it.

"I said he was going over into my box. He just said he didn't quite get the reality of it -- they're bigger in Italy. Okay. He's been here a while, mind. I said fine and accepted it."

When asked about the exchange between the benches, with assistant Ian Woan involved, Dyche said: "I don't think the coaches' language skills are that good. It wouldn't have been a deep conversation. Woany's from the Wirral!”