Manchester City have apologized to Chelsea for appearing to troll the club by playing the Madness song ‘One Step Beyond’ – seen as one of the London club’s anthems – after hammering the Blues 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
City blew Maurizio Sarri’s men away with four goals in the first 25 minutes before adding two more in the second half to hand Chelsea their biggest defeat in 28 years.
As if the rout wasn’t agonizing enough for Blues fans in Manchester, the home team appeared to rub it in even more by playing the Madness song ‘One Step Beyond’ at the final whistle.
Madness band members are avid Chelsea fans, and the Blues play the tune after victories at home games, and did so when they beat City at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.
Sunday’s playing of the track at the Etihad was cut short after about 30 seconds and replaced by City’s own anthem Blue Moon, and the club have reportedly apologized over any offense – or further suffering – caused to Chelsea.
It was a chastening afternoon for Sarri and his team, with pressure now mounting on the Italian, who joined the club in the summer.
He disappeared down the tunnel at the final whistle at the Etihad without shaking opposite number Pep Guardiola’s hand.
Guardiola initially appeared put out, but later said that Sarri had simply not seen him, which may have been the case given the Italian’s shell-shocked demeanor.
While City played ‘One Step Beyond’, speculation is mounting over whether Sarri has one step out of the Chelsea door, with the team now lying sixth in the table.
The Blues also suffered the ignominy of a 4-0 away defeat at Bournemouth a fortnight ago as the former Napoli boss struggles to implement his ‘Sarri-ball’ system at the London club.
After Sunday’s defeat Sarri said he would be opening to speaking to Chelsea’s billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich about his position.
“If the president calls I’d even be happy, seeing as I never hear from him,” Sarri told Sky Italia.
“But I don’t know what to expect; people keep asking me what I think about the situation, but I think that’s a question which needs to be put to the club.
“I don’t know [about my future]. You have to ask the club. I am worried about my team. I am worried about the performance but my job is always at risk so I am not worried about the club. You have to ask the club.”
Sarri started the season with a bang at Chelsea as his arrival was met with optimism, but the team have faded as the season has worn on, with the Italian questioning his players’ motivation.
Should he get the sack, assistant and Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has been tipped to take over, while fellow Blues legend Frank Lampard – currently boss and Championship team Derby County – is also among the bookmakers’ favorites for the role.