What Burnley said to Maurizio Sarri to spark tunnel melee and enrage Rudiger

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.

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.’


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