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Friday 20 September 2019

Sarri keen to quash any Burnley fall-out

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri has moved to quash any fallout from the abuse he received from Burnley's backroom staff.

The Italian will accept an £8,000 FA fine for leaving his technical area in Monday's 2-2 Premier League draw with Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Rudiger clashed with Burnley goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer, David Luiz squared up to Clarets midfielder Ashley Westwood, and Sarri was angry with the abuse he got from the visiting coaches.

Chelsea and Burnley have agreed to draw a line under the matter.

"In my career I made a lot of mistakes on the pitch, so I understand under pressure you can say something you don't think," said Sarri.

"And I think that it was a strong discussion but my opinion has to remain on the pitch."

The FA has opted not to investigate further any claims of abuse from Burnley directed at Sarri, and the clubs have avoided any charges for failing to control their players.

Sarri said he deserved his fine, explaining: "I was out of my technical area and so I have to pay. I went there in my opinion for a good reason. But I was out and so I have to pay."

Sarri also admitted Chelsea are a "long way" behind Premier League pacesetters Liverpool and Manchester City.

He believes the Blues must close the gap within two seasons, though his job is under threat.

Chelsea go to Manchester United tomorrow where the winners will take a big step towards a top-four finish to secure Champions League qualification.

Sarri hailed Liverpool and Manchester City both closing in on 90 points as "incredible" and said he wants the chance to elevate Chelsea to that level.

"It's incredible because City last season gained 100 points," said Sarri. "To gain 100 points in the Premier League is really difficult.

"In this season, two teams, I think they will finish with about 97, 96, 95 points. That's incredible.

"Of course, this one is the third season of Pep Guardiola at City, and the fifth of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. But in one or two seasons, we must recover the gap."

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