Chelsea news: Gary Neville has made a big claim about Maurizio Sarri
Sarri stormed down the tunnel and snubbed Pep Guardiola’s handshake after they were thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Sergio Aguero struck a hat-trick, Raheem Sterling got two and Ilkay Gundogan bagged one himself while Chelsea fans called for Sarri to be given the boot.
Asked about the incident after the game on Sky Sports, Guardiola played it down, saying: “I spoke with Gianfranco Zola and he (Sarri) didn’t see me so I understand. No, no, no.”
But the future is less clear for Sarri, who told a Sky Sports reporter he must ‘speak to the club’ if they want to know the latest on his position.
Sarri was appointed in the summer to replace Antonio Conte as the Chelsea owners wanted a more easy-on-the-eye style of football.
But with their top four challenge dwindling, Neville now thinks Chelsea have a make-or-break couple of days to see if they want to stick to their guns.
“If the ownership of the club want to see a better level of football, or a higher quality of the possession game, they are going to have to live through the pain of the change,” he told Sky Sports.
“Now’s not the time to go weak on that. What we will see in the next 24 to 48 hours is whether Chelsea have the belief that they do want to follow through with it.
Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri looked dejected during the defeat to Manchester City
“In the past, they’ve changed the managers, they’ve changed Scolari, Villas-Boas. Are they going to stick with Sarri?
“If they want this type of football for the long term, they are going to have to live through the pain of the change.
“It’s how intent they are on seeing that type of football. They need to maintain a manager who believes in that.”
Jamie Carragher was appearing alongside Neville at the Etihad and he believes the club are ‘obsessed’ with a fluid football style.
Chelsea news: Sarri failed to shake the hand of Pep Guardiola after the game
But there’s one problem – that has now left the club ‘weak and soft’.
“Chelsea have an obsession at the top of the club. They always wanted Pep Guardiola, that type of football, that’s what Roman Abramovich fell in love with football, we’re told,” he said.
“Chelsea have been so successful with a big, powerful team. Think Mourinho first time round and second time round. Conte has just been here.
“Wherever they go and get this type of manager, with Scolari, Villas-Boas and now Sarri, it doesn’t seem to work. They seem obsessed with going back to it.
Chelsea news: Sky Sports pundits debated Maurizio Sarri’s future after the game
He’s making Chelsea weak and soft
“Forget today, they lost 4-0 at Bournemouth, the performance against Arsenal, the performance against Spurs, he’s making Chelsea weak and soft.
“They’ve never been that. They’ve always been that big powerful side even when it hasn’t gone well for them. That’s the problem watching them now. They look weak.”
Chelsea are now down in sixth having fallen behind Arsenal on goal difference after the six-goal hammering.
Graeme Souness accused the players of giving up and said: “They were ruthless, devastating and clinical. City were fabulous.
“I don’t know how to describe it but I watched the first five minutes and I thought Chelsea would have a real go.
“Some of the goals were avoidable but I was gobsmacked at the end with the way Chelsea seemed to give up. That’s an accusation they will have to deal with from more than me.
“City have put a marker down today that Liverpool have to win every game from hereon in.”
Chelsea face Malmo in the Europa League before playing in-form Manchester United in the FA Cup a week today.
After the second leg against Malmo they come up against City again in the Carabao Cup final before welcoming London rivals Tottenham to Stamford Bridge and Sarri admits he’s in trouble.
Chelsea news: Maurizio Sarri could be sacked in the coming days
The Italian accepts he could now face the sack. “It is right,” he said. “I am in charge of the team so it is right. My job is always at risk.
“At the moment I am not able to explain. We were in trouble. I am not able to understand. I am worried about my team and the performance. At the moment we have a big problem away.”
City meanwhile are back on top of the Premier League having played a game more than Liverpool.
Guardiola said he was proud his side were being able to compete after winning the title in such stunning fashion last year when the trend in recent years has been for the champions to struggle the following year.
Chelsea news: Pep Guardiola is proud his side remain in the race
“We are top of the league but we have to wait to see when Liverpool go to Old Trafford now as we have played one more game,” he said.
“They win that and they are leaders, with us behind. But I am proud of my players.
“We have to go game by game and with 11 games left we are going to try until the end to retain the title. But we are there and that’s what I’m proud of.
“Normally people fall down after what happened last season [when City were champions], but we are there and it’s nice.”