Sarri walks out of Chelsea training in anger
Blues face Arsenal in UEL final on Wednesday
Maurizio Sarri left Chelsea’s training session in a fit of anger the day before his side faces Arsenal in the Europa League final.
Tempers were already high in the Blues camp after David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuaín appeared to share a heated exchange as the squad trained at the Baku Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
Sarri, who has led Chelsea to the final of European football’s second tier competition in his first season with the club, then threw his hat down and kicked it across the pitch in frustration.
Chelsea, however, said that the Italian manager’s anger was related to the media’s coverage of the training session, rather than the players.
“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,” a club spokesman told CNN.
Chelsea and Sarri are also being faced with the prospect of losing midfielder N’Golo Kante ahead of the final against their London rivals.
Kante trained separately to the rest of the squad on Tuesday as he battled with a knee injury. Sarri said the likelihood of the Frenchman being fit for the game is “50/50.”
Away from the pitch, the Europa League showpiece hasn’t been short of controversy.
Arsenal’s Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan chose not to travel to the game due to fears for his safety in Azerbaijan, which has been locked in a century-long political conflict with his native country.
English fans have also been reluctant to make the 4,000km trip from London to Baku for the final, meaning 6,000 tickets allocated to the Premier League clubs have been returned.
“The majority of these [returned] tickets have already been sold to local fans in Azerbaijan and we are confident that the remaining ones will also be sold as demand is very high,” UEFA said in a statement.