The last thing Chelsea supporters want to see on the eve of the Europa League final was tensions boiling over in training.
The scenes inside the Baku Olympic Stadium on Tuesday evening were astonishing.
David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain had a bust-up and Maurizio Sarri kicked his cap in frustration as he walked out of the session.
Wednesday evening’s game against Arsenal is the biggest game in Chelsea’s season, with a place in next season’s Champions League on offer to the victor.
So for the players to be clashing and the manager visibly upset is rather troubling.
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Sarri’s debut season at Chelsea hasn’t been without its problems and he could very well leave if the Blues are beaten by their London rivals.
But according to the club, the Italian’s emotion wasn’t anything to do with his players.
Sarri wanted to practice set-plays
A Chelsea spokesman said Sarri was angry at not being able to practice set-plays during the final moments of the session because the media remained present.
“Maurizio’s frustration displayed at the end of training was not related to any of his players, but was due to not being able to practice set-plays in the final 15 minutes of the hour-long training session as it remained open to media,” the spokesman said, per ESPN’s Liam Twomey.
We’ll probably never find out just how much truth there is in that.
Would Sarri really not have known that the media would be present for the entire session?
It seems unlikely but that’s what Chelsea are suggesting.
An image from the incident shows that Sarri wasn’t the first person to walk out of the session - he was actually following Higuain and Pedro in.
Higuain had earlier exchanged words with Luiz, who appeared to fling an elbow towards the Argentinian striker’s face as they battled for the ball.
It will be interesting to see whether the incident has any impact on Chelsea’s performance in the final.News Now - Sport News