Maurizio Sarri could face sack if Chelsea lose Carabao Cup final
Italian will take charge against Malmo before Wembley meeting with Man City
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri during the FA Cup fifth-round match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Maurizio Sarri will take charge of Chelsea’s Europa League tie at home against Malmo on Thursday and is set to continue as manager for the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday, although another defeat by Pep Guardiola’s side at Wembley could lead to his dismissal.
The 6-0 loss at City this month and the embarrassing FA Cup exit against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday that prompted home supporters to turn on the Italian have left Sarri clinging to his job after less than a season.
The 60-year-old was given a month for results to improve after the defeat at the Etihad Stadium, and the 2-1 win against Malmo in the first leg of their last-32 tie last week offered some respite. But that proved brief given the performance against United and the reaction of large numbers of Chelsea’s supporters, who chanted “F**k Sarri-ball” and eventually joined in with the United fans’ refrain of: “You’re getting sacked in the morning”.
It is understood a decision on Sarri’s future will be taken by Roman Abramovich. The owner appointed Sarri after a successful spell at Napoli and will choose whether to continue with him rather than assigning that to Marina Granovskaia, the director who oversees much of Chelsea’s day-to-day business.
Abramovich has not attended a game this season, having withdrawn his application for a UK visa last year. He has previously shown little patience with managers who are perceived to have lost the support of the home crowd and the decision not to use the forward Callum Hudson-Odoi as a substitute as Chelsea chased the game against United is also likely to come under scrutiny. The 18-year-old has played only 19 minutes since Chelsea turned down a £35 million bid from Bayern Munich in January.
If Sarri survives the weekend he faces a home league game with Spurs next Wednesday. “Hopefully we can have a good nine days,” Cesar Azpilicueta told Chelsea TV. “It’s the whole season. Now in three days we will be back at the Bridge against Malmo, to finish the job we started last Thursday, to get through to the next round.
“Then we have two massive games. We know that a trophy in the middle is everything, to bring the fans back to Wembley with the spirit to get the cup. Hopefully we can give a bit of happiness to them, to enjoy a bit of joy. Then we know Tottenham at home is something special.” – Guardian service