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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri made it clear before the game that the timing of Chelsea’s charity match with New England Revolution was an unnecessary distraction for Chelsea’s Europa League final clash against Arsenal on May 29.
Chelsea defeated MLS side New England Revolution 3-0 in a friendly game in the United States in the early hours of Thursday morning – in a game billed to raise the profile of the club’s Say No To Antisemitism campaign and combat all forms of discrimination in the game.
But the game ended on a bad note for Ruben Loftus-Cheek who left the pitch injured, much to the frustration of Maurizio Sarri.
Sarri had expressed his concern about the game last week, saying: “Unfortunately we have to go to the United States but we have 10 days to prepare for the final and we have to recover energy.
“We go there for a good reason, so as a man I am very happy to go. As a coach, of course, I am a little bit worried because I know very well that the team now needs rest. So it is not the best way to prepare the final, I think.
“I am not worried about the physical side, I think it is more difficult to recover mentally. Because in a match like this one you spend, usually, a lot of energy and then of course you have to go down and then it is not easy to go up again.”
Sarri was visibly angry following Loftus-Cheek’s injury in Boston. While Loftus-Cheek was down on the floor receiving treatment, Sarri walked backed to the dugout, picked up a coat and threw it on the ground in anger.
Assistant manager Gianfranco Zola was the one who picked back the coat, but Sarri looked livid throughout the second half as he faces up to the prospect of trying to beat Arsenal in the Europa League final without Ruben Loftus-Cheek who has been increasingly influential especially in the Europa League.
There are fears that Loftus-Cheek could be out for a year, and we wish the 23-year-old quick recovery.